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Akron company, Panyard Inc., marches to beat of a different drum

At work manufacturing a steelpan at Panyard Inc.
, USA - From the outside, Panyard Inc. looks like a bland building in the middle of an Akron working class neighborhood on California Avenue.

But if you step inside, close your eyes and listen, you can easily imagine sitting on a Caribbean beach with a mai tai at your side.

Panyard is recognized as the world leader in manufacturing steel drums. The company, now in its 21styear, carefully crafts instruments that make that "put a smile on your face" reggae sound.

....Panyard is just starting to turn a nice profit. A big reason for that: kids and schools clamoring for a beginner steel drum called The Jumbie Jam.

"The Jumbies, we're putting out close to 3,000 or 4,000 a year, and that's growing rapidly," Kerns said.
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To suggest that a PanYard steelpan is the equivalent of a Steinway Piano or for that matter, a Stradivarious Violin is misleading at worst and hilarious at best.  These fellas are good at mass-production and marketing no doubt and have done to muster what "back home" have failed to achieve.  Now if you want a steelpan of that calibre, try one done by Guppy, master tuner extraordinaire!!!
This is a direct result of Roland Harrigan's betrayal of the Trinidad and Tobago's pan tuning fraternity. When the story is finally told Harrigan will not be seen a positive light.

Jojo, you can't even spell the mans name right!

Roland HARRIGIN will be remembered as one of the 5 top class tuners of his generation.

And, much like Ellie Mannette, Roland "the Pope" HARRIGIN will be remembered as one who freely gave knowledge and has been educating a lot of young tuners, regardless of race, colour of skin, or background. Roland, from Laventille, will be remembered in a very positive light.

panplayer46, your illustrious "Pope" Harrigin almost single-handedly cost Trinidad & Tobago its steelpan manufacturing industry with this escapade. When mr. kerns and his company Panyard, Inc. were finished and threw Harrigin and a couple others aside like rag dolls after the fools taught mr. kerns and crew all they knew (for free), they next focused their sights on the Trinidad & Tobago manufacturers/tuners themselves, and tried to strong-arm them into price-fixing the cost of producing instruments in step with the prices Panyard was charging. Panyard did not at all like the fact that instruments made in Trinidad were generlaly more economical, and still are, which cuts into their international market.


Had the local steelpan industry allowed themselves to be forced into this price leveling scheme by these Americans, where it cost the same for a pan from Trinidad as it does from Panyard (check out their prices) it would have scuttled and destroyed the export market of steelpan manufacturing for Trinidad.


Get educated on the history of this fiasco.  And there is much more to it, and like it.


maybe "a" world leader.  Not "the" world leader. 


 -- "reggae sound" -- WDA?



I noticed that "reggae sound" thing too. Very ironic.

And BTW, manufacturing a steelpan instrument does not involve any secret ingredients like CoCo Cola or MacDonalds Secret sauce or even Angostura Bitters.

The knowledge of how to do it has been in the public domain for decades, and anyone with the facilities, time and patience can with practice develop the skills to become quite good at doing it
Name one person who was able to do so.

You aren't serious are you JoJo?

Because I could start with American Folk singer Pete Seeger who in 1964 wrote a book on how to manufacture and play a steel drum.

For your edification I submit this quote from the Rockcreek steeldrum website.:

"It was October 1989. On a typically cold and snowy fall day in Ithaca, New York, a young Kevin Martin, a student at Cornell, discovered a book in the school library. That book was Pete Seeger’s Steel drums - how to play them and make them written in 1964. With this book as their guide, Kevin and his brother Sean built their first steel drum to use in their band Bermuda Blue. After graduating with a degree in International Trade and Finance, Kevin and pursued a career in his field, but the steel drum never left his mind. Over the years, he continued to build drums in his spare time. In 1998, Kevin left his investment job to pursue steel drum building and playing music full time."




I'm as serious as a heart attack.  Behind everyone of these people is a Trinidad tuner they learned from. In Pete Seeger's case it was Kim Loy Wong.

Your quote is very misleading and I think you know better. This person had to go to Trinidad to learn the craft properly.

Again I say to you name one person who did not have the involvement of a Trinidad tuner learn from.

It is interesting that these people tend to readily admit they didn't have a clue what they were doing until they traveled to Trinidad or some Trinidad tuner came to show them how it is done.  And here you are trying to give people credit for something they have not earned or asked for.


Felix Rohner from Switzerland.

Eckhard C. Schulz from Germany.

Ari Viitanen from Finland.

Yann Brabant from France.


...and the list goes on and on... who are "they", Jojo? "they" this, "they" that. What else?

All this would be good for nought, if they had patented the steelpan as they should have and can still do!!!  The license and royalties would have paid the innovators and PanTrinbago royalties to last a lifetime.


Meantime, some make hay while the sun shines, ent...




While superior Trini artisans retail each of their tenor pans for TT$3,500, complaining at times about declining sales, an American pan manufacturer who sells the same type of instrument at US$5,000 apiece is doing so well, one of its two owners recently acquired a Ferrari F 430, currently valued at US$200,000.

Das is how come besides the Ferrari Testorosa the owner/partners since that time have gorn and buy Lamborghini and Mazzaroti as status symbol toys for themselves to drive around Akron, Ohio...

LOL- so where is Harrigin's Ferrari, or similar type car?  Don't tell me he sold out like a silly dilly, and does not have comparable wealth to show?  mr. kerns and Panyard to who he so freely gave his excellent pan manufacturing skills to years ago are making out like bandits.  Sad.


Since Roland Harrigin is so generous with Panyard, I hope that there are very many people in Trinidad who can say that he taught them freely too when they wanted to learn.


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