Pan icon Bertie Marshall is hospitalised at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital. Marshall, a diabetic, has been having problems controlling his blood sugar level, and has been in and out of hospital. However, the pan scientist is in a cheerful mood despite this setback. The inventor of the Bertfone and the double tenor, Marshall has also been credited with introducing canopies on pan and the amplification of the tenor pan called “Chinee Pan.” This outstanding arranger and tuner has been associated with the Highlanders Steel Orchestra and Desperadoes. He has also done work at Caribbean Research Institute as a steelband development officer with the Ministry of Community Development. Marshall was also a tutor in a pan-tuning programme at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). Just last month he was the centre of attention on television and in newspapers, when the Housing Development Corporation threatened to evict him. Marshall told Pan Buzz it was an “embarrassing mix-up,” as he pays his rental for the year at the beginning of the year. In a flash, the then Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism, Winston “Gypsy” Peters, and Minister of Social Development Glen Ramadharsingh appeared on television with Marshall, making promises to assist him. His care-giver, Courtney Goodridge told Pan Buzz that not much has changed, despite the efforts of Patrick Vidale of the Social Development Ministry. Courtney told Pan Buzz he has been knocking from pillar to post over a month to get a document from the Ministry of Community where Bertie was once employed from 1973- 1977. Goodridge also told Pan Buzz that there is an outstanding payment from the UTT for Marshall for a period in 2009 and 2010. He said invoices have been submitted, and he hopes payment will be fast-tracked.
Pan Trinbago hosts awards tonight
The annual Pan Trinbago Awards takes place tonight at 8 o’clock at the Festival Ballroom, Crowne Plaza, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain. Pan Trinbago will award several people who have contributed to the development of the national instrument.
On Sunday, pan goes to the Chaguaramas Boardwalk in another exciting presentation in the Pan Trinbago series, Pan In The Countryside. The Trinidad All Stars Association will hold a meeting on Sunday at 10 am at its headquarters, Woodbrook Fellowship Building, corner of Duke and George streets, Port-of-Spain. All members are asked to attend.
Here are some other events as Steelband Month continues:
• August 15 at 8 pm:
Defenders of the Pan Day (Pioneers’ Day). This event, also called “Badjohn Day,” will be held at the Renegades Pan Theatre, Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain.
• August 18 at 10 am:
Youth rally featuring junior steelbands. The Paddock, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.
• August 20 at 4 pm:
Parade of Floats, around Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.
• August 25 at 5 pm: Woodbrook Centenary Parade (Pan on the Avenue)
• August 26 at 4 pm:
City Sun Valley celebrates Nelson Street icons with awards and a pan programme on Nelson Street, Port-of -Spain.
• August 30:
Pan Night And Day—pan in public spaces and places to mark the 20th anniversary of the Declaration of Pan as The National Instrument.
• August 31
(Independence Day): Brunches in various panyards.
Carib Woodbrook Playboyz Independence Fiesta, Woodbrook Playboyz panyard, Tragarete Road, Port-of-Spain.
‘Boogsie’ promises a show to remember
The man called “The Mozart of Pan” Len “Boogsie” Sharpe is ready to roll, or is it rumble, at the Little Carib Theatre, corner White and Robert streets, Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain? The pan maestro told Pan Buzz that all is set for tonight and tomorrow’s shows at 8 pm, which he said will be a “show to remember with a difference.” The master arranger, composer and pannist will be unveiling a new piece called Let’s Make Here A Better Place from an upcoming CD. He said for shows he will be playing songs from the CD Boogsie Plays Sparrow such as Rose, Royal Jail and Memories, plus some of his own compositions, all backed by a nine-piece band of pan and conventional instruments. Boogsie told Pan Buzz among the musicians are Douglas Redon, Clifford Charles, Richard Joseph, Felix Roach, Kenneth Clarke and Desiree Mayers of Caribbean Airline Invaders. The man called Sugar Ray (Holman) will be his special guest. Boogsie a is widely travelled pan troubadour and is regarded as a gifted and versatile performer. He is the leader and co-founder of Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove. Remember, showtime is at 8 pm.