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The Ultimate Dis-Respect - Pan at Lincoln Center - Dead Man Walking?

New York - It appears that the future of Steelpan music at Lincoln Center may be nothing more than "Dead Man Walking." In what has to be one of the most glaring acts of total disregard and one of the ugliest insults the instrument has suffered in its 50-plus year history - Abstract Entertainment, Inc. (AEI) along with its partners BET and Lincoln Center pull off a scallywag move in broad daylight that is both traitorous and deceitful.

Back in the sixties and fifties it was common practice for album covers and promotional material to leave the pictures of Black recording artists off. It was a racist and shameful practice that was part of an era in the music business that has been put behind us. Now, fast forward to 2009. On Friday morning an irate, well-known and respected panman wrote When Steel Talks about an Ad he received promoting the upcoming "PanJazz" to be held at Lincoln Center in New York. This pan person who is very level-headed and not prone to emotional and un-intellectual outbursts called what he saw "malicious." We at When Steel Talks most certainly agree.

One cannot defend the indefensible. This was a deliberate move. It clearly was not an oversight. How on earth do you forget the pan image or pan performer on an Ad for PANjazz? You do not! Clearly, AEI, BET and Jazz at Lincoln Center are sending a message. They are moving on - and they have exploited the steelpan instrument, culture and people to the max from their perspective. Pan and pan people got them through the door, and established the show as a premier 'Father's Day event' - and now it is time to deep-six the pan. Who can not help but notice that the "PanJazz" shows have been well patronized and made up almost exclusively of pan fans since the show's 2004 inception?

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Kern this total nonsense and you know better. These promoters are roaches. Unfortunately for them someone just put the light on. They need to be stepped on. Every year the honoree at the show was pan person. This year they will not honoring a pan person. I guess they ran out of pan people to honor.
Simply incredible that this type of disrespect could happen in 2009 given the history of Jazz, Pan and the history of its creators. AEI lacks shame.
Everybody should have an opinion on this. Where is Pan Trinbago on this? The panman has suffered enough abuse. Shut them down.
This has been the Steelbands' problem from the beginning of the art form.
I was a kid but there was no one steering, even the Association allowed several lucrative and ownership opportunities to pass by.
This is an opportunity for the Association to jump in for the panplayers and demand their advertisements.
Did they do it ? Of course not and now they are backed by all sorts of heavy weights.
Incidentally, it is not too late.
Another blatent example is the grant of photographers permits at the competitions and many bone fide photographers and
organizations lose out because of the funny way in which these are allocated. It is time these players begin to look out for themselves, after all why do they belong to those associations.
What you say Mr. Roberts is so true. I have heard some terrible stories about the granting of press credentials at pan events.

Also it is interesting to note that the promoters who perpetrated this crime seem to have learned their lesson at least temporarily. I just saw a flyer of there next show. They did not forget to put the panman on it this time. LOL

Look at flyer below

Good work WST.

Well, it is good to see that they have learned from this mistake and all is good now.

Although I had free tickets to the show, I did not to go for health reasons; my wife and sister-in-law went and enjoyed lots of pan at the show, they really enjoyed themselves. It is possible that if there was no "outcry" about the flyer that this sort of thing would only continue, but now I think they understand how "sacred" pan is to some of us and that if you use the term "Pan Jazz" it is not simply a promoters "catch phrase", it has meaning to the world, which indicates some inclusion of the steel drum as the primary instrument.

Although, it is entirely up to the promoter, etc to promote his/her show how they see fit; it is inexcusable to have a "Pan Jazz" show and not advertise a single pan player. The previous flyer gave no indication that pan would be played at the concert and yet Ray Holman, one of the biggest names in the pan world featured at the event...this was more than a simple oversight and I was genuinely troubled by it.

However, I am very glad that the powers that be have made things right and I will make every effort to attend the next show. So as far as I am concerned, this matter is resolved and we should look forward to dealing with bigger issues in the pan world that require our input for future change.

Congratulations to the Pan Jazz folks for understanding how we feel and for making the change. I sincerely hope the show becomes a beacon for Pan in the city because pan needs as much exposure as it can get.
GospelPan these guys never apologized. They are unrepentant. They should have been banned from the UK. However, I agree we should move on but with a very watchful eyes on AEI and their partners.

I do disagree with you that there are bigger issues. All of the underling problems with pan can be directly traced back to self-worth and image. This is the first time in recent years that I can remember when someone actually stepped up in defense of pan without belly flopping. I notice that Pan Trinbago had nothing to say on the issue. How do you dis a man of Ray Holman's character, historical significance and status in broad daylight and Pan Trinbago, the Trinidad governing body of pan has nothing to say? Do you notice how spineless the Trinidad media was on this?

As for AEI their behavior was like something out of the ugliest moments of the 1950's in American history. Shameful - to repeat that stuff in 2009!
I'm still angry GP. Not one person should have gone to that concert. Can you imagine having a "gospel concert" at Lincoln Center and putting everyone else on the promotional flyer but the gospel performers? Or having a "rap concert" with Jay-z as the main act and forgetting to put the rappers picture on the flyer. How absurd and insulting is this? Ralph Ramsey should be banded for life.
There isn't too much to add, your article said it all. I wonder if the use of the word "Evolution" in the title means that the show is changing ("evolving") into something else?

If so, they should do pan people a favor and also change the title.

Remove the word "Pan" as associated with the steeldrum instrument.That way they cannot be accused of deceptive advertising.
There isn't too much to add, your article said it all. I wonder if the use of the word "Evolution" in the title means that the show is changing ("evolving") into something else?

If so, they should do pan people a favor and also change the title.

Remove the word "Pan" as associated with the steeldrum instrument.That way they cannot be accused of deceptive advertising.

I guess WST really called this one.  I believe there was no show this year.




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