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Phase II won its first North Panorama title in 1977 playing "I Like To Beat Pan" before winning the National Panorama Competition in 1987 playing "Feeling Nice". They have also produced other legendary favorites like "I Music", "Musical Wine", "Fire Down Below", and "Birthday Party". They have come close to winning Panorama so many times that some players within the band comically suggest that they be given a plaque commemorating the most second place finishes in the history of Panorama.

This article covers BOOGSIE and PHASE II through 2005.

After seeing what little acclaim BOOGSIE SHARPE was given in a recent WST discussion on "ARRANGERS IMPACTING PANORAMA" I decided to bring "THE BOOGSIE SHARPE STORY" to the forum.

Boogsie Sharpe (and PHASE II) created history in 1987 by becoming the first un-sponsored band to win the national Panorama competition, as well as the first band to do so performing its own tune. This feat was repeated in 1988!!!  

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We have to understand that in the creative business, in music, art, science etc there are practitioners that stand out from the rest. We either get jealous of them or accept that we are not as good as them. We may come very close but they still stand out as the best in their fields. They are called extraordinaire. exemplar. par excellent pre-eminent, foremost.

In jazz we had Miles Davis. In Pop we had Michael Jackson and Prince. In Rock n Roll we had Elvis Presley. In every field it is like that. In medicine, law, accounting. We cannot be jealous or envious. But despite these facts, those leading practitioners are also vulnerable and can make mistakes or can sometimes be out of time as well. And there is nothing wrong in that. Why? Because time and tide wait on no man.

In the case of Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, he hsa been playing and composing and arranging since hew was a teenager. he is now in his sixties. That's 50 years plus. There is a point at which one becomes slower and weaker. That is just a law of life. What we should really be doing is thanking him for all those brilliant years of music he has offered and awarding him with the highest of honors possible. Instead some of us show our jealousy on our sleeves.

Boogsie remains in the class of premier, a class on its own terms. He is pan's greatest contributor of all time. Every right thinking pan man or woman knows this deep down. The problem is some of us are jealous of him. And that is a sin. We cannot be jealous because God gave him a special gift in pan. We have to be instead thankful that he is still with us.

There will come a time Boogsie would no longer be with us and we would have lost pan's greatest musician and music. Think about this carefully folks. Be kind. Be generous. Be loving to our brother. Be sweet. If you love, other will love you.

The history of Phase II tells us that God wanted Boogsie for pan as from his very birth in Symphonettes yard and Phase II band is also in a class of its own for that reason as well.

The man is GREAT that is why we are having this conversation now. By the way, Boogsie was in Starlift together with Ray Holman at some point however, Boogsie's music is not influenced by Ray Holman. Listen to the contrasting styles. Don't get tied up with that notion.

Ray: Under the Valentine "Impact" Posting, you were the only person who stood up for Boogsie -- which I found very ironic. For years on this forum NINETY NINE PERCENT of the posters have declared Boogsie a musical genius (time and time again) and if anyone ever contested that they were frowned upon -- or even worse.

But when Valentine put up his topic, everybody start calling all kinda ah names EXCEPT BOOGSIE. Man who I see swear about Boogsie Genius for years -- suddenly wipe the man's impact/influence off the face of Panorama.

Ah never see thing so!!! And ah never see people like that in meh life!!!

You stood up for YOUR GENIUS in the two postings. Good for you!!!

Ray, I will have to disagree with your statement "not influence by Ray" Boogsie came to Star Lift with raw talent and he listened to Ray. he even says Ray helped him to be who he is today.

Ray Holman was taking the revolutionary step of composing music specifically for the instrument. Boogsie wanted to continue what Ray Holman had started by starting his own steelband in 1972. 

7 Panorama wins with “Own Tunes.”

TOBAGO JAM composed by Len Boogsie Sharpe

Every PANORAMA (for decades now), in the months preceding the PANORAMA -- the focus has always been "WHAT BOOGSIE COMING WITH THIS YEAR" ... that has started for 2018!!! Everybody already know what ALL STARS coming with next year and what RENEGADES coming with next year and on and on.

I don't think that a brighter light has ever shined on PANORAMA than BOOGSIE -- either in content or aura. Especially when you add longevity to the equation.

My feeling is that BOOGSIE is going to jam them hard with an original song next year and WIN PANORAMA -- sweeping away all the OLE TALK about "new trend in song selection" for the PANORAMA.

You got that right, "dey have awaken ah sleepin giant" look trouble in 2018.

Claude... Sorry to disappoint you....Boogsie is already set in his ways and it will take until 2019 to change his mind. He has something to prove and that is why he gave no panorama interviews. He is doing the same thing Andy did and is being stubborn about it. I keep saying it and it will take time for you to grasp it..."This is PANORAMA not music festival" people keep mixing the two, talking about intricate arrangements and who only doing runs. Trust me he is not going to change until 2019

Without Boogsie and Phase Two Pan Groove, in Panorama, there would be way less interest in the Panorama attendance and discussions, among locals and especially foreigners. As ALL THE OTHER BANDS ARE ABSOLUTELY PREDICTABLE ,and play on the same level year after year,so you already know what to expect, except for Phase Two. ENT Martin.And ONLY d Phase can and will HOLD DEM AND WUK DEM. Blessings.

Well, I hope that he does change. In my books, all he has to do is collaborate with the right person. I had many problems with RED WHITE AND BLACK. And you boldly identified one which I had kept to myself. The music was old -- especially the chorus. But in many ways that song was on the right track. Other than that I think it lacked emotional content.

In terms of "this [being] PANORAMA and not [a] music festival" we are in FULL AGREEMENT except that I am much further to the RIGHT than you on that score. Because I have not heard ANY STEELBAND play  PANORAMA MUSIC in years. I have said 100 times on this forum that I am a CALYPSO LOVER and it that context I hear very little CALYPSO in those PANORAMA PERFORMANCES.

Everybody on this forum lives in a dream world of the past and wants something different. I want a NEW PANORAMA where the STEELBANDS play PURE CALYPSO (this is CARNIVAL, after all) without all those fake attempts at JAZZ and SALSA and CLASSICAL and PIANO PRACTICE SCALES.

CALYPSO and STEELBAND is the culture of TRINIDAD -- why neglect yuh culture?

Claude...yuh not easy...you and Bugs is too good confusionists....(if that is indeed a word)...I listened to Phase II's Prelims and Finals offering only and for him to do so badly it must have been a case of him not heeding the judges advice...or just plain bad decision making in the end. The Prelims version is miles better than the finals (in my opinion). To make matters worse, the tune is sung in a minor key and for some reason he chose to play the last three or so mins in the major.

Technicaly there's nothing wrong with playing in the major key on a minor tune, but if I were an adjudicator I would have marked him down too. Yuh give meh one thing in the Prelims, something else (probably) in the semis and by Finals yuh re-invent the entire tune? So what do I as an adjudicator have to compare with the earlier performances? He dig his own pit as far as I see it. Let's hope he learns from this experience.


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