The fundamental question: What do STEELBANDS do? They MAKE MUSIC!!! If a few of the STEELBANDS could learn to make music for GLOBAL AUDIENCES, I am sure that they could earn substantial amounts of MONEY. And if they are good enough, they could get booked for performances all over the world.
And I am not talking sitting down in PAN TRINBAGO OFFICE and waiting for some foreign CULTURAL MINISTRY to call and thinking that you are so important because you got a call. I am talking about making music that WOWS THE WORLD!
Find somebody who can make professional-level music videos of large bands performing. Distribute them through usual channels.
Quality arrangers can help to make steelbands profitable, they are disciplined and make feel-good music. Not the typical so called small band panorama arrangers we have today, after hearing their tune you need to take a few aspirin. Serious headache.
Key word...Diversify!!! And this requires every band/organization that is serious about it, start by having a management that operates like a business...there are many things that bands can do besides waiting on 2 months in the year to shine. there are one or two bands that are already on this road.
Steelbands must be prepared for business. The members must be shareholders of the business and not just extract the moneys whenever they receive payment. The members must re-invest back into the business. If you wish to be marketable outside of T&T, then you have to play music, that would impress the masses. Let's go back to Esso Tripoli, being promoted on the Ed Sukkivan show; Panam North Stars and famous Pianist Winnifred Atwell, having many performances together and making an album Ivory and Steel and we can go on about bands of the sixties. Presently, bands like Renegades,Pamberi have agents abroad and they travel regularly. St Margaret's school band, Bishops Anstey steelband have all wowed audiences throughout the world, playing Classics of the masters among other styles of music.
We are in a time of Electronics, amplification and technology, so bands can be condensed into about sizes of around a dozen players, of course their must be proper management with qualities of Transparency, accountability with high levels of integrity, discipline and honesty. Check out bands as Renegades, Exodus, All Stars, Invaders and Skiffle Bunch to name a few.
I can go on and on , but will stop here just to stimulate thought and ideas.
Mr. Cooper: You took a step in my direction. But "a dozen players" is still too large a band. About four E-PANS and three CONVENTIONAL PANS and you have all the SHOWCASE music you need. Then THE RIGHT music director -- which might be the hardest thing to find. And you need a MARKETING DIRECTOR and ONE EXPAT who has the OUTSIDE VISION.
Almost anywhere in the world a STEELBAND goes now, they could find "local" players to add if necessary.
They also need to produce a MUSIC CD to sell at all the performances. That will be hard too, because without a quality MUSIC PRODUCER who has the global vision -- it will be the same old, hopeless, ill-conceived PAN MUSIC.
I can go on and on with this design -- but I will stop here.
Trevor, as you stopped there allow me to continue. We have this curse which can be described as Trini mentality. If we say its good then the rest of the world should agree. What we dont see is how foreign artists tend to succeed where we although much more talented dont. e.g. Sparrow vs Bob Marley, Sugar bum bum vs hot hot hot..I too can go on. Panorama seems to be the favorite purpose of pan but when Andy Narell tried to steer it in a profit making direction the fans balked and claim stop messing with "we thing" As world wide as my travels took me I'm yet to meet with many people who havent heard of Bob Marley or Hot Hot Hot. Not so with the best of Sparow or Machelle. Of course they have heard of steel drums but cant name any band not even desperadoes who we all know has no limit in repertoire.Yep that curse Trini mentality preferring KFC and McDonalds over Roti and pelau. We insist on telling the steelbands what they should play but after ash Wednesday its back to Justine Beiber and Alisha.and the pan men are on their own till next year.. I have more but I will stop here and give someone else a turn..
Everybody stopping here, we need you all to continue, lets have it all.
Cecil: Yuh have a good topic going here. Bring Aquil and Gregory to make some contributions to the forum other than pushing their CIP AGENDA!!! And tell them to bring a few friends with them -- since dey living in Trinidad and have access to thousands of PAN LOVERS!
Claude a lot of the local members have a questionable attitude toward us, they feel we are outta place to comment on matters in T&T and resent our involvement in their affairs. This is the reason they don't take part in our discussions.
One time ah went back years ago and some ah meh younger partners explain THE DIVISION to me. So I understand the attitude. But merrytonestothebone and Bertel and Oswald Alexander does come on so it must have a few OPEN MINDED ONES!!!
And this discussion is about benefiting LOCAL PAN MEN in FOREIGN!!! And unless they take advice from people like BOB DIAZ who lived the PAN LIFE in FOREIGN they will always be guessing and dreaming about a plan to break through that has ZERO CHANCE!!!
Panorama has to be viewed as one of many things Steelbands do, today for the majority it's the only thing they do, they have taken themselves out of the real world.
Having a strong off season team comprising of players and supporters is the first step towards making themselves profitable.