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Yet Another Slight For The Steelbands By The Trinidad & Tobago Government?

I hope I misunderstood, but I was perusing the Express Online this morning, and I read where PM Kamla Bissesar, and her administration, have launched a nationwide celebration of Trinidad & Tobago's 50th Independence anniversary, which is planned to continue through the month of December.


Firstly, I hope ALL PNM Haterz, do some research, as to how this party, under Dr. Eric Williams, won that battle against a World "Superpower", and you will see that not ALL of PNM history deserves our ridicule. They did some great things! And some really bad ones; agreed. (And I am no big fan of either, but the Doc saw to it that I could have attended Trinity College as a poor, Black child, growing up in class-based colonial Trinidad.)

My main issue with the PM's plans, though, has to do with the fact that they included a solo steelpan player, yet , and entire dance company, an entire tassa (drum) group, and, an entire "rhythm section". I really find that disrespectful to the steelbands, for the history of the instrument, is wrapped up in the collective, not the individual. It was STEELBANDS, made up of individuals. Why not hire a solo tassa drummer? The relevance of the instrument we affectionately call a "pan", is in the ranges of "voices", originally for the poly-syncopation of African drum rhythms, then, for the melodic, counter-melodic, and harmonic forms of Western musical orchestras. Don't get me wrong, I love hearing pan in a variety of contexts, however, I feel it would be more appropriate, to "celebrate" our independence, by showing our national instrument in its true histo-cultural persona- THE STEELBAND!

What do you think? Are you okay with this arrangement? Me, I think it's ALL about MONEY! I'm sure the usual excuse will pop up: "The cost of transporting steelbands is too expensive." What about a nine month celebration, how expensive is that? Couldn't you celebrate for, say, six months instead, so you can hire an ENTIRE steelband? Thank goodness, it's not our Centennial; we would be celebrating for 18 months! And I also question the performance fees; is the "panman" going to make the same income as all the other performers, or are the fees skewered, based on other criteria? As far as I am concerned, this is, yet, another slight of the steelbands, and proof of the urgent need for the "revival" of the STEELBAND MOVEMENT!

Pan'tum - The Ghost Who Talks. Honoring the Legacy of George "Sonny" Goddard

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Speaking of "Babylon"...http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2012-04-02/scrap-metal-thieves-take-...

Obviously, EVERY country has its issues. In Trinidad, just watch where you drive; you could be heading to the bridge that's nowhere! lmao.

GHOST, reporting on GHOST BRIDGE.

Greetings: I have observed the trend with this social conversation. There was a request to have the  program published. Nevertheless, maybe, When Steel Talks could take the lead to find out what has transpired.  I do appreciate Ghost's comments but are we at the roundtable helping to make the decisions? What are the plans for the steelband during the celebrations that are scheduled for the period? Are there funds available to have meaningful concerts, exhibitions, lectures throughout the country?  I would love to see some of the elders enjoying some of the fruits of the labor of love. Are there plans for securing the  steelband's success in the future?

 Are there are any plans to get the National Steelband back on track and to be part of any celebration to entertain dignataries or be part of the Tourist industry? I would like to see if  the Steelband can become more  recognisable beyond Carnival times. Give thanks and Blessing. Dr. Lance Seunarine

Great questions and comment, Doc. I look forward to the answers. ANYONE?


I doh know what other activity dey having but ah sure Phase II doing up the avenue, dey must have pan on the road.

Correction. It should read Phase II GOING up the avenue.

There are four months to Independence. There is NO way a 50th ann'y would be complete without a steelband parade. When Pantrinbago wakes up, maybe you'll hear something.

All the parties play politricks with the steelpan movement at some point.  Steelpan People have to unite at home and abroad to demand respect for the national instrument, starting with putting it back on the tail of the national airline.

1971, New Years day newspaper article reports that Goddard is upset over the arrests, and calls for removal of the “primitive law”. Calls for steelbands to boycott government functions. George does not attend the Prime Minister’s Party for Tripoli Steelband, just back on tour with Liberace. On February 28, a paid advertisement, “Thank You Dr. Eric Williams”, endorsed by forty-five steelband leaders, appears in the local newspapers. Shortly after, George is fired by the government. SIC (Steelbands Improvement Committee) presses for special convention with aims of disrupting proceedings and moving for a “no confidence” vote. George announces there will no special meeting, and resigns in June as the Association’s leader. Finally, toward the year’s end, the name of the Association would be changed to Pan Trinbago.

Thanks and much respect for posting this, Andre. (Ain;t that a female dog!!!) Wait 'til I bus de full story...



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