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Panorama goes global
It is a month since this year’s Carnival weekend yet still excitement continues in the steelband world. Pan Trinbago has a lot of events planned for the remainder of this year and 2015, with the most ambitious being the staging of the first-ever international Panorama contest next year.
Pan Trinbago launched the logo for the International Conference and Panorama (ICP) last Wednesday at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Port-of-Spain. Heading the list of dignitaries at the formal function were President Anthony Carmona; Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas; Speaker Wade Mark; Caricom Ambassador Sir Edwin Carrington; and, UWI Pro-Vice Chancellor/principal Prof Clement Sankat.
The ICP logo is designed by 28-year-old Chevon Le Gendre, assisted by Kalesh Forde.
The intent of the ICP, tentatively scheduled for August 15, is to establish T&T as the mecca of pan and Panorama.
The central image of the logo is a steelpan, surrounded by the flags of countries to be invited. Among the expected invitees are bands from the USA, UK, Canada, Nigeria, Israel, Australia and every pan-playing nation of the Caribbean.
Some of the rules of the competition are that just one arranger will be permitted per band, and no musician can play for two bands. Bands will also be limited to 60 players.
Performers at Napa on Wednesday night included 2014 National Panorama champion Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove, Schools Panorama winner QRC/Providence, Earl Brooks and calypsonian Eunice Peters singing Anthem for Pan.
In his feature address Douglas said: “Pan Trinbago has been handed a very serious responsibility...to nurture and develop a creation that came from the belly of the people. With this responsibility, though, comes a high expectation.
“To compete effectively, our brand of steelpan must be supported by the type of leadership that embraces the current realities and reads the market to predict changes.
“While the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism and, by extension, the Government, is in support of all the efforts of Pan Trinbago to increase the income derived from the steelpan industry, I must insist on the continued demonstration of higher goals and deliverables for the national instrument.”
He continued: “And so, this is my challenge to Pan Trinbago. Make this the important and ingenious initiative that you have created, this ICP the benchmark, the ultimate event for the international steelpan market.”
However, before finalising the groundwork for the international competition, Pan Trinbago resumes its Pan in De Countryside series of concerts tomorrow in Grande Riviere, at 3 pm.
Steelbands invited include Supernovas, Carib Woodbrook Playboyz, Sangre Grande Cordettes, Pan Stereonettes, Southern Marines Steelband Foundation and City Sun Valley, plus DJ KC Klass is Class. Pan Trinbago has organised a shuttle service from its Park Street headquarters, from 9 am. The shuttle fee is $200.
Eight of Hearts coming in May
The other blue riband steelband event taking place shortly is the Eight of Hearts concert in May.
This biennial event, held for the past eight years by Laventille Steelband Festival Foundation (LSFF), is being moved from its traditional Laventille base to Napa, Port-of-Spain this year, on May 16-17.
Eight of Hearts features the eight top large steel orchestras in the National Panorama final every two years.
This year’s top conventional orchestras includes champion Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove, Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars, bpTT Renegades, Witco Desperadoes, Republic Bank Exodus, PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars, Skiffle, CAL Invaders and NLCB Fonclaire.
LSFF director Julian Cudjoe said this week: “We’ve done a total evaluation of our product and decided to take it to the next level.
“The Eight of Hearts brand needs to evolve; to breathe and grow. I think we have the best steelband concert in the world, one which deserves nothing less than the best. After all, it has the best steelbands and the best patrons and sponsors.
The Laventille venue was devoid of the type of infrastructure to befit an event of this stature.
Napa is state-of-the-art, especially its backstage amenities, and the only venue in Trinidad to stage a production of this magnitude and importance.”
Pan Family concert in the works
Another exciting pan event is the inaugural Pan Family concert being planned by Pan Trinbago’s Northern Region.
This unique production will showcase the talents of pan musicians and their offspring.
Still in its planning stages, artistes to be approached for this unique event include The Codrington Pan Family, led by patriarch Cary Codrington and featuring his daughter, champion soloist Keisha; Dane Gulston and his sons (Denilson and Daniel); Martin Kane, Mighty Sparrow and Black Stalin, and their sons.
This week the region’s chairman Gerald Mendes said: “We are experiencing difficulty to secure a venue for this show as all the main concert halls are fully booked. Hopefully, we will get one before the end of the year?”
Tentatively scheduled for August 3, the LSFF will be holding the Laventille Steelband Festival for yet another year, along the Eastern Main Road, in Success Village.
Approximately four more editions of Pan in De Countryside are to be held nationwide at venues to be decided. Last year, these free, open-air concerts went to districts as remote as Siparia, Moruga and Biche, and Speyside, Tobago.
Echoes of Carnival, the review of the UTT Musicians concert at Napa which appeared on Page B9 in yesterday’s paper was written by Nigel Campbell. Apologies to Mr Campbell for the omission of his byline.