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“Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” ― James Baldwin

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Honored Steelband pioneers and proxies hold awards at the end of the evening
Honored Steelband pioneers and proxies hold awards at the end of the evening

Brooklyn, New York - The Big Apple again took the lead, by honoring its central steelpan music figures in the development of Pan in New York, as the Trinidad & Tobago Folk Arts Institute hosted a special awards ceremony simply called "A Gala Tribute To New York Steel Band Pioneers" on May 20th 2012 at the Tropical Paradise Ballroom.


In addition to paying public homage and drawing attention  to these pioneers, the event also documented the sacrifices and accomplishments of these forerunners, on whose shoulders sit one of the greatest and most significant cultural movements and art forms in the history of the United States.

 

It is no secret that the largest and most vibrant steelpan music community outside of the homeland of the steelpan instrument, Trinidad and Tobago, calls New York home. Les Slater—chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Folk Arts Institute—in addressing the audience, said that “It was critical that this acknowledgement of these men be done now as many were getting up in age and some had already passed on.”

 


The great literary giant James Baldwin said  “Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.”  It is in this spirit that the Folk Arts Institute continues to organize successful and indispensible events such as these.  The gala’s honorees  were Michael Alexander, Caldera Caraballo, Milton Gabriel, Edward George, Lennox Leverock, Alphonso Marshall, Roy Sangster, Kim Loy Wong, Rudy King and Conrad Mauge.  A slim, well-produced program book available to all who were in attendance, listed the honorees’ and their full bio data.  Bios were in turn read aloud preceding each respective presentation for the evening.

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Very enlightening bios of these early pioneers of Steel Band in the USA. 

SALUTE! TO LEADERSHIP!

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