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WST Reboot -- Flamingoes Steel Orchestra - A look at the once-renowned orchestra - yesterday, today and tomorrow

Flamingoes Steel Orchestra
A look at the once-renowned orchestra - yesterday, today and tomorrow

by Salah Wilson


Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Flamingoes is a process in motion. It will take some time for the band to get back anywhere near to its former status in the ‘70’s. First of all it is not just ‘Bringing back the Band’; in reality, it is a community development project.

....Around 1980 the band was no longer able to continue with the same status quo. I was not involved in the eventual split-up of the band to form Exodus. But again my uncle Bob and Amin Mohammed (elder brother of Ainsworth Mohammed), were responsible for making the ‘Exodus’ from Flamingoes. The amazing thing is that the band was across the street from my late Grandmother’s (Ma Mena) property and with the exodus, they  moved back onto my grandmother’s property. So the now famous Exodus actually started right on my Grandmother’s (Ma Mena) property. How ironic could that be. Well, everyone knows about the continuing success of Exodus. However Flamingoes (the Gay being dropped for obvious reasons) remained in existence but a shell of its former self.
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When the name Flamingoes Steel Orchestra is mentioned i remember their rendition of Poet & Peasants

You can say that again, Poet and Peasants is one of the greatest classical piece in calypso tempo by Flamigoes

thks for the fine music over the years, I consider your uptempo version of 'poets and peasants' as one of the classics, should be heard by all lovers of the instrument, thks again


This account of this institution of a steelband is very well done. I am awfully inspired by this historical account. This band will rise with God's grace and your fantastic initiative. Stay steady on the track and don't look back. We can only learn from the past,..we can't live in it. One Love.

Thanks Gregory,

As you know......., we only have to do our best,....... that is our responsibility.

We stay in touch, brother


One of the best Steelband to produce a record.The sound was out of this world, I remember Carlos Rose and the Lever Bros. Flamingoes.


I love both of the LPs pictured in this wonderful historical account.

With your youth leadership and music arrangement skills, FLAMINGOES, will surely fly again.

Thanks Terry


Greetings Kenneth,

Thanks, but this was just a quick gimpse of some of the history. When it is done in detail it will highlight the very great contribution that your Dad ( Kenrick) made towards the development of Flamingoes with all of his masterpiece arrangements, ( Pops Medley, Black Man's Cry -Africa 70, Carterpillar, Soul Chick ) just to name a few.

Notwithstanding the impact that Kenrick and Tripoli  with Hugh Borde et al made when they visited Flamingoes after just arriving from one of their tours with Liberace

My regards to the whole family



        You are a man with a vision and that is all it takes to bring something to life. I don't know another person that is involved in pan as you are. What I admire most is the fact you don't get involve in a project when it is already off the ground, you start things on your own, lets see, you started Pan in schools in Montreal, your family band, Panorama in Montreal, moved it to a better venue in the park [Pan in the Hollows] you raised Flamingoes from the dead, you even taught a person with a mental disability to play pan, this is HUGE.

        My Brother you are a true PANATIC, I am just waiting to see what is the next Salah Wilson project.   BLESSINGS.

Thanks Cecil,

But I just wrote this article to bring to the forefront the plight of Flamingoes, and possibly other similar bands for instance who are unsponsored and may have to rely on "Hiring so-called 'crackshot' Pan Players".  In Flamingoes case as I mentioned it will take the assistance of the Village to raise this 'child'. A very good thing will be the elementary school next door that will get involved in the near future. A big thanks to WST for presenting the article in a professional manner. Hopefully some of the villagers and potential sponsors might tune in to the article.

Cecil concerning Montreal , where you are also from, we are working very hard on elevating the Montreal International Steelpan Festival 2012 with additional bands from Trinidad and England. We will start some promotions on that soon...thanks again.. you have always been a strong Pan enthusiast....Bessings



Sounds like you got burned hard by the realities of the current panorama situation. Until Pan Trinbago reduces the maximum for all bands, the majority of them will hurt for numbers and the ones who benefit are the "hustlers", and sucks for the bands that have no money to buy a side; or the ones who run out and can't pay their "hired guns", ending up blacklisted, or worse, sabotaged (read: what happened to Antillean All Stars). It's perpetuating a cycle that keeps those struggling bands struggling.

That's Flamingoes yard on the right as one travels up St Johns Road on the way to the Monastery?


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