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Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music


When I joined Trinidad All Stars in 1973 almost all of the members were employed, some were welders they welded the pan racks some were painters they painted the pans others were employed as Docks workers; mechanics,police officers,Porters,taxi Drivers,tailors,Customs Brokers, Selling snow cones and many more fields of employment. After Carnival or Stage side practice over at whatever hour we rush home to get some sleep and report to work next morning,NBA,,BASEBALL,FOOTBALL PLAYERS, REGGA ARTISTS,SINGERS,CLASSICAL SINGERS AND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS,Do this for a living. They eat sleep and dream their careers while the pan men and women play pan for the love of it but make a living employed in another field of employment..Is it that members having another means of living holding back the advancement of the Steel Bands.

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Claude if ah tell allyuh about all those tingsallyuh go want tuh empty allyuh USD bank accounts and donate it towards ah steelband.....so ah rather not say.

Let me just say, I sometimes envy the BLISS that many people enjoy.

There U go CH; panorama was allotted $34,000.000.000.oo this year, do the math...

THIRTY FOUR MILLION????? Is that number correct? Yuh sure???

Now I know why Bertel was talking about building mansion and driving luxury cars. Time for Cecil to go down and run for PRESIDENT of PAN TRINBAGO because he sincerely cares about the PROGRESS OF PAN unlike those who are just PIMPING THE PAN.


My interest is the Steelband in the Mecca but I realize that the people that make the big dollars from carnival will not give up anything to bring back the steelband in carnival, this is why there is that hopeless vibe.

With all that we know about the politricks, we continue to accept the rape and abuse of the art-form. No one wants to take up the LEADERSHIP role to correct the wrongs and injustice done to in the name of PAN PROGRESS.

I often wonder why after all the years when Ellie Mannette left Trinidad (1967) and continued his work with PAN in the US, he became the only PAN TUNER UWI considered awarding a honorary doctorate.

This should speak volumes on how we see ourselves as a people and the dynamics of money and politricks at play in the Mecca. What about Anthony Williams, Neville Jules and other masters of this craft???


odw....steelbandsmen have been killed,jailed,beaten with bullpistle,pickaxe handles,baseball bats,2X4s, toute bagai....They have been knived ,razored,planassed,chopped .....so the rape and abuse you talking about,is a sprinkle of water on ah dasheen leaf.....I expect that when dey have had enough,they are going to do what they need too. 

Cecil there is not a hopeless vibe.....the mechanics,the rules of competition,etc have to dovetail with present day realities.

Like yuh forget you celebrated ALL STARS  "Band of the Year" ??

oswald, All Stars stands as a beacon of hope for all steelbands, they prove that the steelband could function in a hostile territory, they are an organization with a purpose, no one is going to bully them off the road for carnival, Panorama is a bonus for them.

How many other other bands has this mentality? I'm afraid not many. I know of a large band that don't care about the road, panorama money is enough for them.

No pan on the road for carnival is the worst thing could happen for the steelband.

Cecil....the MAS successes you see All Stars are reaping now,is decades in the making.

oswald,I think All Stars supporters from foreign also add to their success.

I have been part of the management/roadie team for a youth steel band on St John for almost 20 years. I have another angle to offer in this high-flying forum discussion that may bring it back down to earth.

One of the practical considerations, that I'm not seeing addressed in this conversation, is exploration of other factors keeping bands at home. Well, if the monumental physical effort required to take a steel orchestra down the road doesn't keep bands back in the panyard, what does?

What I've seen in my two short trips to Trinidad is that moving bands is commonly still accomplished in a labor-intensive hybrid fashion, with some on the ground and some mobile or semi-mobile. How about a move toward fuller mobility ? Google "Rising Stars Steel Orchestra" to watch some of their You Tube videos showing how they seemingly effortlessly move over 100 players with one wrecker, three connected double decker trolleys, and an unobtrusive small built-in speaker system that helps players keep together. All pan handling only has to happen at start and end of each trip, right in the panyard.

Now I understand that smaller racks give a band set-up flexibility, but one thing I know about my Trini friends is how incredibly creative and imaginative they are! I would suggest that designing trolleys suitable not only for parade use, but even competition use, may challenge, but certainly not stymie them.

Thinking outside the box on this practical issue, and actually building a fleet of trolleys, just might be what it takes to get more big bands out of the panyard and into the public eye more frequently.

Most intelligent post , Love City pan dragons.

And BTW , congratulations for your innovations in steelband mobility

I saw your band's mobile presentation some time ago , and was very impressed by your double decker trolleys.

As a matter of fact it even gave additional fuel to my arguments.

One of the  things the steel bands of T&T did in their emphasis on presenting a winning panorama band , was to cease and desist from all attempts to improve and perfect the steelband's mobility on the road at Carnival.

As a result , no real improvements or innovations were made to the bands mobility since the 1960s, at least in T&T ; so they remain stuck with the " labor-intensive hybrid fashion, with some on the ground and some mobile or semi-mobile " you described.


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