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Toronto’s Afropan Steelband helps Bermuda Celebrate 400th Anniversary

Hamilton, Bermuda, W.I. - Very much in the belief that “you have to know where you come from in order to know where you are going,” as Bermuda celebrates its 400th Anniversary, they have chosen to include African traditions during the Bermuda Day Parade on Monday May 25, according to the Ministry of Culture and Social Rehabilitation and the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs. In this vein, the island welcomes stilt-walkers/Mocko Jumbies from Africa and St. Kitts, and Toronto’s very own Afropan Steelband as the country seeks the fabled advantage to “look into the future.”

....Bermuda welcomes both the Mocko Jumbies and Afropan Steelband for Bermuda Day 2009 - the latter upon their arrival on May 21. Joining other celebrants, the steelband plays on the road for Bermuda’s Heritage Day on Monday, before returning to Toronto, Canada on May 26.
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Big Up Afropan !!
Yes that's My Band
I could tell you dat seriously as man
And its not because I'm Trini and suppose to love Pan
Its because we push and promote the pan culture every chance we can.
Forsaking sleep, work, boyfriend and even we woman
For the sweet pleasures of caressing we steelpan
While joining in the Celebration
In the Cultural Heritage of the Bermudian
Recognizing 400 years of existence, as a truly wonderful Nation.

Yeah ! Yeah !
Nuff respect to the steelpan and steelpan players world over but why would Bermuda bring a steelband from Canada to celebrate it's 400th anniversary. What about their caribbean neighbours, especially knowing that the instrument was invented there (trinidad) , maybe I'm missing something, I think it's an insult to caribbean people.
this has always been the mind set of caribbean people we will forsake what is right at our door step for something considered foreign or out of town i have personally experience this in florida
where a band was brought from out of state at an astronomical cost when they could have hired a local band for a lot less and close to the same calibre with all due respect to the canadian band but i think you hit the nail right on the head, hats of to you kevin Gowrie for your keen observation.
thanks for the support st clair, you can expect to hear more from me!
Good Day
I am the promoter who approached the dept about this venture
they wanted to go with a trini band but due to paper work i.e visas and shipping i gave them the idea to use
a band from Canada or the US as they do not need visas to enter BDA
This as well is only a stepping stone to build abuzz in BDA and revive a dead steel pan community
You should ask before speaking
There is no graduated system in BDA for pan only 3 schools have pan and one school has lost interest

I have been working to get this resolved

Bermuda is not in the Caribbean
We are located 2hrs by air from NY

I play with the band in Toronto and have grown to know of this community called steel pan throught this band

The arrainger ond founder of the band is a trini
Earl La Pierre SR.
his whole family play and lead the pan community in Toronto
they live pan
that is the reason

If you were insulted then fly to BDA and fix the problem

I am a born and raised Bermudian
I am here fixing the problem

Paul A.W.Smith
De Onion Patch Crew

26yr old pan player
member of Afropan

this is no insult but a stepping stone to moving to bringing a band and pan to a place where they let it die

if you want to know more here is me number and email
1-441-338-7285 mrdjp@hotmail.com
well said Paul...my fellow Bermy.
Mr. Gowrie sa I think you really dont Understand
We in Afropan REPRESENT the Caribbean
We have Grenadian, St Lucian, Bajan, Antiguian,
Ah Tobagonian, a lot ah Trini Man & Woman and even 2 Jamacians
It have a girl does come all the way from Japan,
Boy! she heart shape like a tenor pan, so she have to qualify as Caribbean Woman
We arranger. He born in Trini but now live in the Cayman
Spend bout 40 years of he life as a Canadian
Creating what is today Afropan,
That gave birth to a few other Canadian steelbands
He also introduce Pan in every little area that he can
So Kevin, So St. Clair. I want YOU to tell me as man
What have YOU ever done for PAN ?????
To qualify you to even comment on My Band
Participation.....in a Bermudian...., Celebration

Dont Worry Paul I got your back!
Some of the postings to this thread are so typical of some West Indians, They put their mouth in action before puting their brains in gear!
Earl is a friend of mine, and as mentioned he lives pan! you cannot be more Caribbean than that family!
i would like to apologise to any one that this has offended i think the gist of the conversation was not ntended to insult anyone especially the steelband players and afropan and of course Earl la piere, so there is no use for us to hurl insults at each other I think mr Gowrie made a good point in reference to our neighbours not realizing that the island of bermuda is to far North 600 miles due east of cape hattaras in north carolina to be considered part of the caribbean and Mr smith is perfectly right, Bermuda Is not part of the Caribbean. But this topic is a healthy topic for all Steel bands in the americas because all our various promoters who does not see the steelband as an integral part of their Carnival productions will always keep the steelband in the background. New generation branches is located in Orland florida has been in existence for the last twenty two years and has had the opportunity to be actively involved in many great steelband activities just this past weekend we promoted a weekend of pan at our pan yard with great success that involved bands from the state of florida i have been involved in pan all my life and will continue to do so promoting our national instrument as one of the greatest musical instrument in the twentieth century,with this said i leave you with great respect.
My respects to you as well Mr. Balthazar, you should know that my play with word wasn’t meant to harm, I was just defending a plan that has been about 3 years in the making. And its hard to feel guilty, because opportunity knocked and you were there to open the door. Looking back now I realize that.. I too must Apologize.. too quick to judge without knowing. But the call of the drums is unforgiving and you know very few of us ever truly get appreciated or paid, for some it’s the pursuit fame, for others just to convert someone new and show them the versatility of the instrument and yet others the joy to teach and pass on the knowledge
But for me and my big mouth
Its all about the late night going over the song
The correcting of the notes that were wrong
The knocking of the pan, that turn into a pound
In your head… while you in bed.
The getting up late, the reaching to work late
The falling asleep on the train
The feeling of pain..in your leg.. while you beg
That tonight Earl don’t take too long, to finish the song
The ringing in my ears that wont go away
The cussing from the wife when you ent hear what she say
The kids who notice that you never dey
Cause you always home late worried about the band’s fate
The falling asleep with a nice plate of food in your hand
Sometime you so tired you cant stand up and be a man
The patient wife who understand
That its Caribana again and after all you are a pan man
So she meet you by the door put your pan sticks in your hand
While you look her dead in her eye and say
“ Darling …this is meh last year wid the band”

So I do hope you stick around doing what you doing for a long time still
God Bless!
Good day guys, my apologies if I stepped on anyone's toes. It was not my intention to spark a debate about the merits of panists and orchestras worldwide watever their origins. I simply made what I believe to be a genuine observation and I did ask the question. Anyway I do admire the work that guys like earl and paul is doing and I salute you so no disrespect to players or organizations. And by the way I'm trini too, and I've been around panyards and panorama competions for the past 30 yrs, except for the last seven during which I live abroad, but I do go home yearly. No hard feelings, one love, let pan continue to be the winner, pan is meh jumbie!
This is a remarkable feat givenBermuders recent History and its exclusion of africans as a general rule.


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