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Caribbean Steelpan Connextion Ensemble Shine at Expo Astana 2017

Astana, Kazakhstan - "Expo Astana 2017 came to a close last weekend in Astana, Kazakhstan. Hosted under the theme "Future Energy" the exhibition was held from June 10 - September 10, 2017. Participants came from as many as one hundred and fifteen (115) countries and twenty-two (22) International Organisations. Inclusive were twelve (12) CARICOM Member States; Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.

While Trinidad and Tobago did not participate in the exposition , the twin-island Republic was well represented and actively promoted by four (4) pannists of the Caribbean Steelpan Connextion Ensemble, which is based in Belmont. Through the vigorous and generous efforts of Ms. Leela Ramoutar, Commissioner of the CARICOM Pavilion, the four travelled from Trinidad in early July to Astana.

According to the group's manager, Ms. Israel McLeod (MA), the team deemed their participation "an absolute success" but one which was not without its challenges. McLeod reiterated the need for Government (together with the steelpan's parent body, PanTrinbago) to place on its front burner, "structured, informed and realistic solutions," to alleviating the costs on the shipping, air freight and insurance of instruments as an example. This she felt, would help to create more international travel for steelpan orchestras, thereby making bands more "self-sufficient and consequently, increasing the income for its membership through global performances."

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Congratulations for taking part in this Expo...Maybe at some time we will be able to see some footage and have some material available, to inform and Educate us all.

I must Join in the call for the Government and Pan Trinbago to create a policy with regards to the Shipping of our National Instruments when our citizens go abroad to perform. Every time my son leaves these shores to promote the pans he is charged over US $175.00. Can it not be legislated that the Steel Pans be exempted when its being used by our nationals in the promotion of our music and culture? Especially when our national airline is the carrier. At least on the way to the engagement. This is the time when the player have not earned any income.

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