Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
The large bikini Mas bands have abandoned the Savanah for the Socadrome. The greatest steel orchestras in the world are playing to an empty Grand Stands at 3:00 am in the morning. And the streets of Port of Spain as Mr. Rubadiri Victor showed are empty on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Maybe this is truly an opportunity for the steelband to go back on the road.
This year was different though…the competitions organized by PT (on Duke Street) were well patronized…especially Jouvert morning, where 8 Single Pan and 10 Conventional bands performed…it could only get better...
We were NEVER faced with such a situation, the powers that be has ah job cut-out for them, lets see how they handle it.
Merchant said it my friend, Pan in Danger. A lot of you Pan lovers are not aware that most of the present Pan players in Trinidad and Tobago no longer plays pan for love of it but for the money. Each pan player is paid the sum of $1000.00 by the Government to play in the Panorama. Peter Ray Blood just wrote and article in the Saturday 14,February edition of the Trinidad Guardian, called the Pest in Panorama. There are a bunch of pan players called crackshots / panhoppers that plays for several bands, at the end of season they can pocket several thousands dollars plus a bonus if they played for a winning band.
That's quite true about the 'panhoppers'. We know of some that play for more than 5 bands. There's no more pan loyalty..just goes to show that 'money talks'!! How do you prevent this? It's so out of control, but realistically, how does this get fixed? If limits could be applied, how will they be enforced?
Glenda, That's very difficult to fix since "There is a Shortage of Pan Players in Trinidad".
No Bede there are no shortage of pan players, things are just disorganize. Too many small bands rules and regulations have to be put in place, more Community Bands needs to be established. Bands have to become more business like, self sufficient operate year round and not for just Panorama. that's how West Side operated when I was part of their management team.
Jameson, Them days gone Oui, Those days we play Pan for the Love of Pan not the Money
There is not a Shortage of Pan Players at Panorama contrary to popular beliefs. Panorama Steel bands are Over Subscribed. The Problem is.The Young Pan Players don't Like Playing Pan on the Streets. The Rather the Glam and Glitter of Panorama, their 10 Minutes of Fame. Every thing has changed from Our time to now. Our Whole Carnival is Taking a Nose Dive. From Panorama - Mas - Calypsoes even Soca. Thank God that we Grew up in the Golden days of Carnival. Its very Sad to see How our Special Thing Has Regressed. Carnival Now is Like West Indies Cricket, going no way Fast.
Pan grew out of the communites. These communities have decayeded and degraded, slowly at first, by emigration, rehousing social mobility, recently at an alarming rate through drugs , guns, aids and political manipulations. Still, in the weeks before carnival, when the panyards are in full practice mode, each community regroups and reaffirms, reconnects, re-charges and a whole lotta other 're-s' to numerous to mention. We come home, from far and near, meet and greet, listen and learn, look back and move forward. (And we all know the terrible tabanca of ' not making it this year). Those few weeks of music, of practice, innovation, discipline, togetherness and sheer love of it, is of utmost importance, not only to us as panlovers, but also to community and society as a whole. It brings us together as 'one heart-one love', and while the communities crumble ('loss of social cohesion' is the scientific term) the music repairs, restores and nurtures our very souls. Forget the nit-picking bureaucrats and self seeking officials. They are a periferal nuisance. At the center is the music, the people who play it and the people who love it. Focus on that, and all will be well.