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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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Greetings to you Mr Carl Robinson, I happened to be passing by and noticed you had mentioned my name in your post.While i appreciate you spelling my name as i have it printed, i didn't appreciate your name calling. since you seem to be a late comer to this little discussion, i would advise you to tone down your name calling which is not only unnecessary, but does damage to the points you're trying to make...You called me a racist, and i most certainly am that! i make no bones about it However, i am a racist in the positive sense, because i am for my race!...But of course Black people are not a race, we are a nation wherever we are, it's just a matter that we have to realize so that we can take full advantage of the unity it will afford us. Now, the people whom you're defending come from A race that has a beginning and an ending and their desire is to make you part of their ending. I would advise you to be careful, because white people DON'T NEED YOU TO DEFEND THEM! So, while you're on this forum trying to be noble in your feeble attempt to act as a sentry while they steal your birth right from under your nose, be advised not to fall for the trick..They love it when they can have people like you to use as a buffer while they go about their work in ripping you off and you are to blind, deaf and dumb to see it! And if my posts have gotten you this riled up in defense of your white bretheren, just remember, when you throw a rock in the middle of a pack of wild dogs, the only one that yelps is the one who got hit!..So, why don't you go into a corner and lick your wounds and don't come out until your brain aneurysm is fully healed!


Black is a worldwide race, whites are trying to rip you off and steel your birth right? 

This sort of attitude is the problem! Not Potts'. He's all about inclusion, and you are blatantly shouting about exclusion. I am thankful of the struggles all the pan pioneers in Trinidad went through, but pan is an instrument for the world. It's everyone's birth right! Potts is not about divisions, he's about inclusion. Give me one good reason why that's a bad thing.

Sir, It's alright if you use my name (Hannibal Muhammad) It's too bad that you read my words the same way you repeated them here, which is totally inaccurate; however, i'm not going to deal with that anymore; if you wish to get it right, just read my words over. I will say this though, i don't have to shout about anything pertaining to exclusion or inclusion..it doesn't matter to me one bit! What you have stated here is already an established fact and i applaud their hard won accomplishments. I am about division, i don't believe that the wicked should hang out with the righteous, as i don't believe that wheat should hang out with the tare! I know that pan is an instrument for the World, just as the Blues, jazz, rythmn & blues, etc! So, please don't tell me about what we have given to the world, because the World already knows what we have given them...Your birth- right, meaning you gave birth to pan, and it is your rightful duty, within your purview, to guard against anyone, knowingly or unknowingly who would exhibit a tendency to exploit pan under the guise of  socalled inclusion while giving the impression that he is the great benefactor for pan!.. And to me that is a bad thing, whether you agree or disagree!  Thank you for your kind Indulgence!

Fred, I'm with Carl here - you are an IDIOT! Let's talk manipulation and deceit!  Your google searches for steelband in chicago--what do the results really show? A couple of solo pan gigs in chicago (Including Clyde, who's back in Trididad!), then Potts & Pans Steelband, and then a bunch of out-of-state or out-of-country bands! GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!

And Fred, You are the only person in your circle to have personal relations with Potts? How exactly do you know him? And if you're the only one to know him, how could you quote a friend about what his rehearsals are like? Either you are an idiot or a liar.

So many of you seem so f***ing bent on tarnishing Potts' name. But let's look at the OP -- he is trying to build a larger pan community in his area! What could possibly be wrong with that?!? As for asking for Black Musicians, some gigs legitimately require it! Pan, as with all music, is a performing art. All performing arts have an element of acting, and acting is based on sex, age, race, and appearance! If Bally Total Fitness wanted to book a band, and Potts only had 2 guys available, and wanted 2 more, perhaps he'd put an ad up saying "Looking for Attractive Musicians" or "Fit Musicians." Is that wrong? NO! It's part of the business! In the meantime, he's offering to bring more people into his circle, introduce them to pan, and build a larger pan community! He NEVER said he would take a non-musician on gigs. He says, if you are good to go, you can gig on your current instrument AND I'll teach you pan. The line about "no experience necessary" is needed for these types of ads. If a college grad sees an add for musicians, and all he did was play in school, he might not respond because he doesn't have a full musician resume, but seeing no exp. required let's him know this is a friendly organization willing to work with you. Obviously, if you have ever heard or seen Potts' band, you know he's not booking amateurs! He's trying to make connections and grow his Pan community. All of you talking trash need to shut your damn mouths!


Really Fred? I put up most of the gigSalad list already. You say "It doesn't matter where they're from" but then you want Potts to use the term "from" instead of "in"? Furthermore, where these bands are actually located is the entire point! Just because 66 groups from all over the continent say they're willing to travel to Chicago to perform, doesn't make them one of the only steelbands in the Chicago area. And "one of the only" = "one of the few". 

Then you want to find one of his oldest videos, and one that is with a student group, and try to call him out for it? First off, that vid sounds pretty good for a group of kids who have probably only been playing for a semester or so. Second, I'm talking about the professional Potts & Pans ensemble. Although, you do bring up a good point that Matt also teaches kids and works with the schools in his area. Someone should put a stop to that! Oh wait....nevermind, the spread of pan is what we all claim to want...

There may be 69 steel bands that show up on Gigmaster for the Chicago area but if you look closer, only 6 are within an 80 mile distance from Chicago and one of them is actually Latin/Salsa and doesn't show any pans in their pictures. 3 look like soloists and two are bands, including Potts and Pans. That listing shows bands from NJ to FL to CA and many places in between. Therefore Matt's statement "We are one of the only steelbands in the Chicago area." is correct. Why try to pick that detail apart?

See now that makes sense. Somebody is really working on the facts.. Nice Job!
Thank you Denette!
as I have pointed out in my last post's . What has potts done wrong? He would like to hire a black musician. That's it, It must be great to sit up in your Ivory tower and look down at your slaves then. He is doing something about finding and filling a position. My guess is you have never had to do ,or can't do. Potts works with church groups and schools most days as a volunteer and has kids as young as 4 years old. what a better way to spread pan. when was the last time we could see you do that. I would be interested in coming and comparing. when is your next lesson ? ok if you can't do that,can you come tune a pan for me , oh can't do that either, maybe I can buy some pan accessories ,oh can't do that either,how about a daily community band. oh that's right you don't do that.. all you do is knock an artist down.. now that's talent !!!!

Matt Potts love the pan just as much as most of us and is in a position to do something for pan, I don't know what, but with his dedication and drive we can expect great things, we might not like his approach but we have to live with the notion that  pan is world wide and different people will approach things differently.

Very, very true Cecil. Everyone involved in Pan doesn't have to be a good person from our perspective. Donald Sterling loves basketball as much as everyone else.

What's with the comparisons to Sterling? He specifically wants to avoid contact/association with blacks. Potts, on the other hand, is trying to build a larger pan community, and wants to get anyone he can involved with it. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!


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