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Stop using the pan as a stepchild - says ace musician

Musician standout Leon Foster Thomas says:

It's nice to see that pan is reaching places like the Vatican and such but, why is it so poorly supported? 1 soca and chutney singer gets 2 mil and a steel band of 120 players get the same 2 mil. Does that make sense? Why didn't they take Machel or one of them to the vatican or for Joe Biden and see how far that would have gone. i have nothing against the Machel and others but, give us our just due. Stop using the pan as a step child. Only using the pan for convenience. It's a Gem. start treating it and it's people like royalty. The Pan is the best marketing tool of great significance, maybe the only best tool that makes Trinidad and Tobago stand out from other countries globally. Yet, e Art form still fights for respect and acceptance. Sad!

Is the pan being used as a stepchild?

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I see your point Leon. Soca/Calypso/Chutney etc. has similar exponents in other cultures/regions/continents.

But Pan is unique and we are the inventors/innovators - we have a decided advantage over all others. The artists involved should be recognized and benefit accordingly.

Let us smartly market it [with Government support] to promote the country and people - Pan should be synonymous with any event related to T&T. Let's design a logo that is highly visible. C'mon PR and marketing folks show us your genius.

Leon, If the people that really matter, the Pan Trinbagos, The Pan Players, the T&T society who are the creators of the instrument, all treat the Steelpan as a Stepchild, who do you expect to treat it as their own FLESH AND BLOOD?????


Everything you said is so true, the pan is used as a prop for a photo opp. the government, past and present is the main culprit in the demise of the steelband, they are the ones that supposed to make sure that the steelband remain vibrant not only carnival season but year round. PanPeople in T&T have to wake-up and demand more respect for the Steelpan and the Steelband  from government to sponsor, from young to old from everybody.

Ah doh want to hear that it's the job of PanTrinbago to take care of the steelband.

Cecil, the very Pan People you speak about (to wake up and demand more respect....) they, themselves, treat the pan as a Stepchild, how do you expect everyone else to treat the instrument? We are simply reaping what we sowing. No Government will take Pan People in T&T seriously. 

I totally agree with Bertel the associations that claim responsibility for pan use it as their personal piggy bank, until genuine leaders are elected pan in T+T will always be treated as a step child.

Frankly I find that there is a defeatist attitude toward the steelband in T&T, everybody waiting, nothing is being done.

I agree. And we must all together be the movers.

I totally agree with you , you have my vote . I also think about Army Vets getting a lifetime pension , why doesn't the Trinidad govt give a special pension to the Pan Pioneers who put us on the map with this wonderful instrument . Nothing , I mean NOTHING of this class has been invented since . I visited Bertie a few years and he should have been living like a king but he was not . l

Colleague,let your truth ring loud and clear. Quite too often, because of selfisness within the steelpan fraternity and society at large, the pan is used as a convenience. It is a common thing to hear most organizers in their  planning  of events say, "let us use a steel band for this or that event". However, with regards to other entertainment providers, you will hear the same organizers say, "let us hire this or that jam band or artist".

True respect and appreciation for the steelpan artform must  start within the pan fraternity. Reformation begins with oneself. Until and unless we seriously encourage introspection within the pan fraternity, the true value of the artform will never be realised. The Steelpan Artform is much bigger that any individual  and is not the property of any individual.

 One People, One Pan 

The future of the steelband is riding on the back of the present generation and I am scared.

All those with authority past and present know the power of the Pan, there was always a representative from the ministry of culture and PanTrinbago on most of the tours I have been on as a cultural ambassador, so they know the effect Pan music has on people.it can make you glad, it can make you sad or it can send you mad , such is the power of this blessed instrument and of this they are all aware. but who cares. A question was asked about pan being run as a business. It is being run as a business but to the benefit of a few. Monies are given to the governing body to host panorama. We have a number of shows taking place, party recordings audio and video, which Steel band benefit from the proceeds of these ventures. What about royalties who is collecting royalties from air play why are players not accredited for their performance these are some of the concerns I would like the governing body to clarify. Blessing to the entire Pan community. 

MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars have been poured into PAN since its invention. MILLIONS more continue to pour in. The STEELBAND has very little commercial viability so it has to be subsidized and subsidized to no end. TenS of thousands of Trinidadians from every walk of life have stepped forward and supported the instrument from its birth giving PAN the stage it commands today.



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