Last update: 05-Dec-2013 3:57 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Pan night and day
This should not be tried at home: trying to be in two places at the same time. I tried it last weekend and was totally “mash up” by Sunday night when I attended Colorz’s launch of Mount Olympus at Lions Cultural Centre, Port-of-Spain.
Having gone to the Queen’s Park Oval for the two semifinals of the CPL T20 tournament, I attended the final on Saturday, mixing it with the Woodbrook Community Association’s second edition of Pan on D Avenue, along Ariapita Avenue, which was attended by thousands.
The Oval on Saturday was a cauldron of activity, amidst a cacophony of noise and gaiety. By the time the Jamaica Tallawahs defeated Guyana Amazon Warriors just after 11 pm, the pan parade had just reached its half-way mark, with 18 of 36 steelbands having passed the review stand at Adam Smith Square on the Avenue.
Escaping from the Oval, I managed to catch Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars performance at the corner of Alfredo Street.
As expected, and as usual, the legendary Duke Street band gave a majestic performance of a Baron medley and its trademark Woman on the Bass, supported by scores of dancing folk.
Saturday’s parade was preceded by traditional mas characters, including North American Indians, fancy sailors, jab jabs, moko jumbies and baby dolls. Government Ministers Dr Lincoln Douglas and Prakash Ramadar, accompanied by Woodbrook councillor Cleveland Garcia and WCA official Enrico Rajah, were ensconced amidst flag wavers, including veteran steelband flagwoman Odilia Garcia.
They preceded the first band on the parade route, Scrunter’s Pan Groove, followed by Pan Elders and Power Stars.
There were many wonderful performances along the Avenue on Saturday night, including Witco Desperadoes, bpTT Renegades, Republic Bank Exodus, PCS Silver Stars, NGC Couva Joylanders, Junior Sammy Group of Companies Skiffle, NLCB Fonclaire, Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove, Solo Harmonites and Laventille Serenaders. All of the bands gave of their best but the performances of All Stars, Desperadoes, Silver Stars, Skiffle, Invaders, Renegades, St James Tripolians, Harmonites, Starlift and Arima Golden Symphony were particularly entertaining.
Single pan ensembles which were stationary along the entire parade route, thoroughly entertained blocks of spectators, with Pashphonics and the T&T Chinese Ensemble playing to the max.
On Sunday night, Colorz attracted a fair turnout to its C2K14 launch of Mount Olympus. The Lions venue was beautifully decorated with tall white Grecian columns, topped with huge wine pitchers and costumes designed by bandleader Michael Johnson, Brian Chin and Cheryl Celestine.
Last weekend haemorrhaged into this week with three more Carnival bands unveiling their C2K14 mas, including Islandpeople Mas on Tuesday, SO.BE.IT on Wednesday, and Ronnie & Caro yesterday.
Tuesday’s Islandpeople Mas’ launch of D Whole...Mystery, Magic & Marvel, held at the Lord Kitchener Auditorium, National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port-of-Spain, was an enthralling production, complimented by beautifully designed costumes, dancers, guest performers, including Swappi, and a variety of music. Speaking to Pulse this week, bandleader Dane Lewis said: “I must compliment director Marlon Grant for producing a truly enjoyable show. We deliberately wanted our presentation to be unique and different to anyone else’s.”
One of the evening’s entertaining moments was a humorous monologue on ‘wining’ by Jean Claude Cournand. With Leah Marvel serving as show host, the entire production was put together by Colin Greaves, Heather Henderson-Gordon, Penny Gomez, Dereck and Dane Lewis, and Grant.
Playboyz hosts Inde-Street fest
So, here we are, 51 years a nation; how do you feel? Do you feel we’ve done enough to establish our music and indigenous instrument in the forefront of the world stage? Have successive governments since 1962 done things that are meaningful and substantial, deserving of a national instrument? Do you think that the steelband headquarters will ever be built, or that eyesore on the Churchill Roosevelt Highway be ever demolished?
Enough of the depression and let’s look at the bright side of T&T culture. After an exhilarating experience last Saturday night at Pan on De Avenue, pan is very much in the spotlight this weekend and one of biggest events is Sunday’s staging of the second edition of Inde-Street Fest, being staged by Carib Woodbrook Playboyz, along Tragarete Road, Newtown. With the road closed to vehicular traffic from noon, the action gets going at 5 pm and doesn’t end until midnight.
Among the steelbands listed to perform are 2013 National Panorama champion Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove, bpTT Renegades and Republic Bank Exodus, Witco Desperadoes, CAL Invaders, Solo Harmonites, White Oak Starlift, San City and Playboyz. Also on the billing is Pelham Goddard & Roots.
Actually, sweet pan action commences tonight when Playboyz will usher in Independence Day at the climax of the annual Ice Picks Sports Club’s pre-Independence Day Back With a Bang, at The Harvard Club, St James.
Then tomorrow, with the national instrument now being an integral part of marching bands of all units of the protective services participating in the morning’s parade, steelband action continues the entire day. Coinciding with the completion of the parade in Port-of-Spain, brunches will be held in the panyards of Playboyz, Tragarete Road, Newtown; White Oak Starlift, 1 Mucurapo Road Ext, St James; and, CAL Invaders, Tragarete Road, Woodbrook. Bands confirmed for the Playboyz brunch are Phase II and Exodus.
At 8 pm, the Pan Trinbago South/Central Region will host its Independence Dance at Palms Club, Pointe-a-Pierre Road, San Fernando. BpTT Renegades is also staging its Single Pan Session at its Charlotte Street pan theatre, Port-of-Spain, from 8 pm. Among the steelbands headlining this event are La Creole Pan Groove, Brimblers, Stardust, St James Tripolians, City Sun Valley, Scrunters Pan Groove and Uni Stars.
One non-pan Independence Day fun activity is the 2013 Soup Fund-raiser Lime being held tomorrow, at 11 am, by The Network of Non-Governmental Organisations of T&T for the Advancement of Women, at The Professional Centre, 11-13 Fitzblackman Drive South, opposite the entrance to Jean Pierre Complex, Woodbrook.
The day’s menu includes fish broth, beef, corn and cow heel soups. Also on sale, will be authentic African designs for women and men; batiks and baskets; footwear and bead accessories.
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