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Nigel Campbell's Blog (11)

BOOK REVIEW: The Illustrated Story of Pan, Second Edition by Kim Johnson

There is this thing about books on the steelpan and the steelband movement. They are sometimes large books with plenty words. There are not that many books though; certainly, less illustrated coffee-table sized books have been written on the steelpan than on the electric guitar for instance, or the piano The thing is, Kim…


Added by Nigel Campbell on June 25, 2021 at 6:00pm — 2 Comments

Podcast: Island Jazz Chat with Rudy Smith

A podcast featuring conversations with Caribbean jazz and pan jazz musicians based in the islands and the diaspora. [LINK HERE]…


Added by Nigel Campbell on December 8, 2019 at 2:04pm — No Comments

Carnival Stories: Panorama is Carnival in rhythm and motion*

"Passion, precision, percussion. The panman dedicates sleepless nights and countless hours to memorizing arrangements of calypsos for competition, the Panorama. The necessity for that element of competition in Carnival is still being debated." Photo © 1997, Cyan Studios Ltd. Excerpted from the book, Return to Kairi: A…


Added by Nigel Campbell on February 11, 2017 at 3:40pm — 1 Comment

Panorama and Politics: The State and Steelband¹

(Part 1 of a T&T Guardian series on Panorama)

The annual ritual of the steelband Panorama competition has begun in Trinidad and Tobago, and continues apace through the stages culminating on Carnival Saturday with the finals. With the financial cutbacks across the board in all areas of the economy including Carnival, there is a…


Added by Nigel Campbell on January 21, 2016 at 10:55am — No Comments

Contemplating genius one panyard at a time

How can one contemplate genius? How does one recognise that savant quality in gifted musicians? Here in the “Third World” of foreigners' fantasies, the reputations of communities have been placed on the shoulders of political giants, on the shoulders of criminals, on the shoulders of cricket captains and steelpan arrangers. For this Carnival 2015, I ventured to gather that magic of the urban panyard as a locus for creativity, for communality, for a congregation of the curious at the…


Added by Nigel Campbell on February 25, 2015 at 6:00am — 3 Comments

An American in Paradise: The sense of Belonging of Andy Narell

American pannist and composer Andy Narell is an iconoclast who fearlessly challenges the narrow definitions of acceptable pan music. He is global, and his usefulness as an ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago's national instrument is tainted by suspicion long held by panmen and the steel pan fraternity in general here. It may be an attitude of his own making. Long held…


Added by Nigel Campbell on November 26, 2013 at 2:00pm — 89 Comments

The Saints go marching in! The new recordings of Reginald Cyntje and Victor Provost, in context.

A review, including USVI pannist Victor Provost's new CD, Her Favorite Shade of Yellow…


Added by Nigel Campbell on May 6, 2012 at 1:54pm — No Comments

Pan Jazz Picnic

I was recently re-animated about the possibilities of programming 24 hours of steelpan jazz and its variants for online radio, when I had to do a little research into the output of this sub-genre of our Caribbean jazz fusion experiment. Some hard realities; we had a proliferation of CDs during the1990s, both in Trinidad and Tobago and abroad, mainly North America. A smattering of offerings out of the UK and Europe did not hold much sway as we entered the 21st century. As a programming niche,…


Added by Nigel Campbell on May 3, 2012 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments


Liner notes (as written) for Boogsie's new CD, A Tribute To the Mighty Sparrow: Len ”Boogsie” Sharpe on the PHI

Len “Boogsie” Sharpe has reached a point in his career where accolades are superficial. He is that temperamental genius who can compose in his head without the enhanced skill of an…


Added by Nigel Campbell on December 14, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

Pan Hysteria? A Review of Innovation and Invention

I wrote the article cited below back in May 2002 when I was living abroad. It addressed the nervousness of some nationals in the diaspora to what was reported as the "conquest" of pan by foreigners. In light of my last note on the design of pan as a factor of optimizing dispersion, which generated heated debate on who did what and when for pan, I thought I would again "go backwards to go forward" with the conversation on… Continue

Added by Nigel Campbell on March 23, 2011 at 10:30pm — 16 Comments

Pan gone backwards to go forward.

The steel pan still fascinates me as an industrial musical instrument that has the potential to be as commonplace as the electric guitar or portable electronic keyboard. Portability, short learning curve relative to traditional music learning experience, and ease of manufacture seem to be the factors that make the two aforementioend so popular. Some recent innovations by…


Added by Nigel Campbell on March 13, 2011 at 1:00pm — 5 Comments

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