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Cut the prize money and pay the players.


Let me make my position clear, I am not against Pan Trinbago because I am Pan Trinbago. I am not against the President of Pan Trinbago because she is now my president. I am not against my executive because they are all my executive members and they have to represent my best interest. I, at this time, don't perceive any of them to be corrupt, and because of this, I will do all in my power to help my organization thrive. However, there is an issue which is affecting the 75 players that I am leading and I am their voice. In the last two years, that voice has grown and players from all over Trinidad and Tobago are expecting me and other CIP members to raise their voices against any oppression towards them. "With great power comes great responsibility", and I intend to say what needs to be said even if it offends my CIP comrades who are now executive members. (Still love them and nothing personal)


I am still hoping that my fellow executive members would call meetings with the membership and let us, the membership, make the decisions on their business and not let outsiders and political friends of the new executive make decisions for us. Before CIP members got into office, the consensus among many of us was, in 2015 with a 30m budget, PT can pay 1m to 1st place band and 1k for every player. Whatever percentage the new budget is reduced by, all moneys to bands and players should be cut at that percentage. For example, it was reported on the newspapers that PT has a 20m budget, that is 1/3 less than the 30m budget for 2015. It would mean that all the moneys given to bands and players would be cut by a 1/3, which means the  


1st place will now be $667,000


and pan players will now get $667


Cutting across the board would allow all to share in toting the burden, opposed to having the small man (pan players) take the full weigh of it. Why, when we reach in a position of power, we find reasons to justify the crucifixion of the small man, for the sins of others. I am asking my president to give the fraternity that motherly touch you boasted of bringing to the organization before being elected. Your actions now are far from motherly and caring. (Still love you, but I need to tell you as it is.)


My president, in case you did not read it the first time, these are the people getting paid after every panorama whilst the members of your organization suffer.


PT executive members



drill masters



the bar men




tent contractors

stage contractors

toilets contractors

porta floors contractors




track stewards




sound engineers





private contractors for security personnel


fire officers

and catering services, financially benefit. 


My president, none of these people are being called hustlers, and they are all making more than the pan player from just one night of work. The pan players toil for a month and a half and nothing for them. It is definitely a sad time in T&T as the poor man is being continually taken advantage of. This unjust action against pan players is just a reflection of what is presently happening in the country. We are all bandleaders, let us show T&T by example how to treat the small man. Share the burden, come to the membership, give us the power to make our own decisions as you promised before being elected.


Congratulation to the executive members on finding a new home for Pan Trinbago. good work.


Aquil Arrindell

Captain of San City.  

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You know its carnival time again (odw) everyone caught up in EMOTIONALISM -- all over EL MUNDO!!!

A very interesting post Aquil

How much money is paid to the drivers?

Brother Aquil, seems like the apple don’t fall too far from the tree, WE 3 Kings Trinity Experience the speech your Dad gave at the podium are evidence why you are called to represent in a Leadership role.

Love the Xmas video; see it becoming more popular in years to come as people learn to appreciate the video presentation, a performance in the office, the co-workers listening attentively. You said this...

“However, there is an issue which is affecting the 75 players that I am leading and I am their voice.”

Reply by Aquil on Tuesday

    Pal I have 75 players to answer to.

    Once the ones who talking could pay my players for work already done, then they can be my friend.

    Outside of that they can be my enemy.

    i have no problem with that.

I’ve seen the make-up in your band and I’m not saying you have to do what I say, this how I would have dealt with my band if I was in command.  This will be a training point for my players to under-stand “character ethics” give them the back-ground on how they arrived at this situation, cultivate in them life lessons they can use beyond the Panyard, independence of thought, decision analysis, collaboration and when it’s time to move on.

Ole people long ago use to say “MAKE DO WITH WHAT YUH HAVE” and I say GOD help those who help themselves.

The "dependency syndrome" is an attitude and belief that a group cannot solve its own problems without outside help.





ODW. I can appreciate all your advice, but you throw me off on the "dependency syndrome" talk. Are you saying, a plumber comes to your house, fixes your leak, charges $500. and when it is time to pay him, you going to give him some BS lecture on "dependancy syndrome". If that is not what you are saying, plz outline where San City or Aquil Arrindell depended on PT for anything.

Let me be clear; I am demanding my players' money. It is money they worked for and is owed to them. As far as I see it, PT depending on my players good graces not to ask the band to carry PT to court because they can't win when it reach there.  

Brother Aquil, my apologies didn’t think what I’ve said will conflate the issues you were having. I started in a small Pan-side that influenced the career path I took in Accounting; the seed was planted in the Panyard.  I was the assistant treasurer, where we will go house to house asking for donations to help towards panorama expenses. 

I thought I was expressing my own opinion on how I would address the situation you were in. I tried to be clear when I said “you don’t have to do what I say” not intended as an advice, no lecture intended.

Couldn’t understand why you would us the scenario where "a plumber comes to your house, fixes your leak, charges $500 and when it is time to pay him, you going to give him some BS lecture on "dependency syndrome".  Why would you call a plumber to fix a leak knowing you can’t pay him?

I’ll do a temporary fix and call the plumber when I have the money to pay him. This sounds to me like a procedure from the Diaz school of Accounting.  Didn’t he sign the MOU??? Follow the money from 2015 thru 2018. The GOAT Politician for Pan Musicians who don’t belong to any UNION.

Heather MacIntosh - Headquarters

History: it was alleged that the UNC government gave to Pan Trinbago (Keith Diaz) the sum of $15 million. This money was used to stage the International Conference on Pan (2015). This was a "one-off" event. Some felt that this money could have been used to complete the Pan Trinbago Headquarters on the highway at Trincity. Diaz never denied receiving the money from the government. In an interview on i95.5 radio after the 2016 Carnival; he claimed that the sum he receive was $13 million.

odw: on a forum like this there is a lot of room for MISCONSTRUSION. So sometimes things get LOST IN TRANSLATION!!!

Claude how the hell things got lost in Aquil translation. You self

Patrick: All kinda people does be cussing and abusing me -- ah expect you to be on MY SIDE!!!

Aquil, you gotta teach 'em to smile after work or wuk, pay or no pay.  This is serious bizness, but I enjoy the comedic aspect of the b.s that's meted out to the panman. Can't say "let them eat cake", ain't got no flour to bake.

I am not going to add/subtract from your offering, as everything you have said benefits the "panman". The blaxploitation of the pan player must stop. The salaries of the exec need to be cut by one third too, but that may be a stretch, ent?


I  see you provided a list  of over thirty (30) participating components involved in the Panorama who benefit financially and on time annually.Thanks for publishing this list which excludes the 'Pan Player' category.

How can one have a Panorama WITHOUT PAN PLAYERS??? It's a very subtle and telling message, because they are not considered as important, or even worse they( PT,NCC, Ministry of Art and culture etc) don't SEE them. This has been possible because they have been exploited from within their own governing organization. 

Something is woefully wrong with this picture. It is a picture of systemized exploitation, being allowed to be perpetrated year after year on steel pan musicians. Yet most every citizen in T&T swears for their love of pan. The expats gleam with pride that they originate from a country of the sweet pan and calypso,Many serve their T&T pan  communities abroad admirably. But generally speaking and I stand to be corrected, there seems to be little concern about bringing this behavior to an end. if anything it seems to be a ready source for jokes, and repartee that never leads to sustained or  substantive action by those who occasionally speak up. 


After 57 years of independence and  almost the same number of years in the development of the steel pan industry, the steel pan player except for a small handful, is still stigmatized, marginalized and seen as 'the small man' in an industry that has a million if not billion dollar-earning potential. This is quite vexing.

SUGGESTION: Every steel band organization  should aim to have every one of their members become arts entrepreneurs with functional business- savvv. To have a sense of how business at a basic level operates, and to build themselves up in  professional character so that they are able to support each other in making sound business decisions needed for the band's success.  Carnival is only one of the many business ventures in which a band will be involved. If this is their training ground( and many of the players are quite young) how are they being trained to individually manage their own future careers in music and otherwise?.

They each may not be destined to  or choose to always to live in T&T, so this ongoing experience  as a member of their band is erroneously representing to them that the  world of music, entertainment etc is just like the neglect and abuse they are experiencing in T&T.  Thank God that the world is a little smaller with the advent of the Internet which they can also utilize to get some up-to-date business information on how the real world of entertainment and hiring of entertainers, musicians etc works.Players are also traveling to other countries for performance. Those players of steel band organizations who have already matriculated in Business management need to  be allowed to share the basic information in a formal setting to the rest of their organization so that the group can grow and be more informed, supportive, and less impatient or clueless as to why their paycheck is not forthcoming. 

But the education needs to start with the individuals responsible for speaking on behalf of the band in signing contracts, agreeing to  on-time performance fees and more, then moving on to the regular members. 

Aquil, you are already in a position ( education and leadership) to lead this initiative by offering a multi-day conference and workshop series, where you can utilize trained, knowledgeable and heart centered pan professionals (T&T and Abroad) presenters, many of whom  may already be in your organization  or affiliated  with it,  who are highly equipped to bring everyone up to speed on how professional music business is conducted by music professionals and others. This forum is useful to a point. Beyond that, solutions and actions are needed to demonstrate the following:

1.You refuse as a group to be further exploited .

2. You have the faith, intellectual  and moral pulchritude to come up with workable solutions to do right by pan musicians in your steel band organization and the fraternity as a whole.

3. Independence  is good, Interdependence is far better. Listen to Sparrow-Interdependence, on Youtube.

4.. As the national motto implies'Together we aspire, together we achieve' . We all can do with reminders about this.

5. You are sending a message to any potential exploiter that in raising the consciousness of each player to 'better business practices'  no more unprofessional and disrespectful behavior from any other hiring organization or client will be tolerated. In time as the entire fraternity comes on board for training, pan players will be 'woke' and better skilled at contract negotiation, more knowledgeable at marketing, fully aware of the complete history of the steel pan and much more that would bring them to culture-ambassador status.

So getting everyone on the same page, knowledgeable about what is needed for getting over the hurdle is key, and not to be construed as being antagonistic or divisive to existing clients or future hiring organizations.

You must see yourself as an independent entity, able to make decisions that you deem beneficial and progressive for those you lead., and those in the pan fraternity when needed for collaboration.

This can be approached in many ways utilizing digital, electronic and terrestrial media  and more. But someone must  be willing to 'Bell the Cat". That's what leaders do.

Wishing you a more prosperous, happy and safe  2019

Keep the faith. Never give up. Others are watching and learning.

NOTE: You can PM me if you need further clarification on my ideas suggested.

 With appreciation,

Lynette Laveau Saxe

Transformational Success Coach

Host/Producer The Callalloo Express Relationships Show



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