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I was doing some research and came across a post on Craigslist.  Is this the sort of thing typical of American steelbands today?  The text reads:

"Potts & Pans Steelband is looking for black musicians to work with. The group is currently comprised of white and hispanic members, and we have lost numerous gigs due to not having a black person in the group. If you have any musical experience and are up for learning a new instrument (the steelpan aka steel drum) I will give you free lessons. Even if you don't have musical experience, but would like to learn, I'll work with you!"

I personally find this disturbing for many reasons; as a human, as a musician, and as someone who works very hard at my craft.

Am I way out in the depths of space to be bothered by this?

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Apparently you're not the only one bothered by this , Sara , since someone else contacted me to solicit my opinion after seeing the add.

Whether meant to be offensive or not , one can see why many would find it so.

The band in question obviously doesn't think much of the skill set needed by competent panists , since they believe that they can quickly train anyone to gig with their band.

But far more disturbing is the suggestion that some type of " reverse racism" is involved the hiring of steelbands for gigs, making it necessary  for them to hire black faces to front for their band , in the same way that unscrupulous businesses have used minorities as fronts to qualify for government contracts that they were ineligible for, due to government regulations for promoting diversity in the workforce.

So yes , I find this very disturbing.


Very good observation. On a related pan subject, can you source and post the following tunes by Silver Stars -  Wonderful Land and You Know You Made Me Love You.



What part of the country is this person from?  It seems that he (she) should relocate to Florida where white folks commonly select white players (who don't seem to be able to play soca or calypso) over black Caribbean players for their events.  She must be listening to Rush Limbaugh too much!

Sir, i understood where you were coming from when you mentioned Rush Limbaugh!  He has been shown to be a man who loves to promote White Supremacy in any way that he can. And what you said about Florida, only adds to the abundant history of White Racism in America!  All of the musical geniuses of Jazz, and song stylists, such as Billie Holiday,Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Sarah Vaughn to name a few...All of them had to travel that same road called selective white racism in order for them to be successful at practicing their craft!

Sometimes We Make a Racial Issue where there is not.

I hope you're referring to the people who posted such an offensive ad!...When you take into account the opposition that our great pioneers had to go through in order to establish this new art form; along with the dedication, and sacrifice and long hours that were put in, to make a place for "pan" on the world stage, only to have it reduced to this?...is most certainly an affront to the dignity and Noble Character of a great people who created this beautiful musical art form!  This in no uncertain terms should ever be treated as some instrument used just to hold "Gigs" as such, And the audacity to make mockery out of our art form by giving it such a derrogetory name!

I can imagine how the great composers of the past would be turning over in their graves upon learning that their musical scores were being treated as only fit to be used when playing "Gigs"!

Hannibal, the word "Gigs" does not necessarily means a 3 or a 4 man pan side (back yard thing), it could be A live performance, either musical, theatrical, or physical. The younger people will say "Gigs" where as an older person might distinguish the type of a Job they going to do. 

I wasn't speaking to you Hannibal. I actually agree with you.. I was speaking to Valentine.


My humble apologies to you sir!  I may've been a little quick on the trigger in defending what i know is true, .But when i read comments like that issued by Mr. Valentine Young ,it irks me because it's really a "trick" Phrase that is used to cover the fact that there truly is racism in this ad and i have learned to read between the lines. Once again, my apologies to you Mr. Bugs!

Really? What are you smoking Valentine?


If you're referring to my comments, it's alright if you don't agree. However, i would like to set the record straight!....I don't smoke, and if your monicker is any indication of your character, i would humbly agree that you have been aptly named.


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