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Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

August 31 - The “Pan Buzz” to date




Pat BishopIf you see the Pan Buzz with a sad face, it has nothing to do with the State of Emergency [in Trinidad & Tobago]; and everything to do with the death of Pan patriot, Pat Bishop, a proud daughter of the soil. I find that every time I turn my back, somebody dear, gives us cause to shed a tear.

Several times I talked to this patriot who loved the Pan like cooked food. Her most famous statement about the sorry disrespect of Pan and the Panman was: “Trinidad and Tobago don’t deserve The Pan.”  Foolish people get vex when they hear it, but it is true.

Pat loved her Lydian singers and the WITCO Desperadoes, whom she led triumphantly to victory in the 1992 Steel band Music Festival. I was there. It was a proud moment for the Desperadoes who completed a ‘three-peat’ (1982, 1986 and 1992). There was no competition in 1990, the year of Abu Bakr and his boy scouts. You like that one, eh? Look how yuh false teeth smiling. I knew Pat was ill, so the news didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks, but it hit me nonetheless. Condolences go out to the family and friends of this patriot; this brilliant daughter of the soil.




By now everybody should know that the Pan Buzz don’t call a spade a shovel. I say it is regrettable on the eve of our 49th year of Independence, we have to face a curfew because some of us can’t behave. Really, do we understand what Independence means?

Independence means taking responsibility; not faking responsibility.

While I won’t deal here today with the wider society, I will narrow it down to the Panman, part-time Pan lovers, and the hypocrites. I hope they go back to their gulag and stay there.

Year after year, despite the best efforts of Pan Trinbago led by the Bald One, Keith Diaz, the Panman is under pressure; if it is not deejays, it is some government official who feels he is the best cultural happening in Trinidad and Tobago. Throwing his voice around and ignorance as well.

Isn’t it amazing that after 49 years of achieving hard-back man status, Pan and the Panman are still struggling? The recent Awards ceremony at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) for Pan heroes, is testimony that there is no unity in the Pan fraternity.

There are 7,000 Pan players, and the event was poorly attended, just like the 2008 Steelband Music Festival. What is happening? Is Pan only about Panorama - that’s all players are interested in? Is the Panman shooting himself in the foot by not taking part in Pan events? Is he, too, a part-time lover of the instrument?

Sometimes I am tempted to ask the question: Is Pan in crisis?




Jason “Peanut” Isaac and Daisy James Mc Clean were warmly received at the Baltimore Comic Con which ended last Sunday at the Baltimore Convention Centre. Both Pan icons were popular with the crowd, as well as artist/cartoonist, Keith “Keithos” Anderson who mixed the Pan with fifty faces of his fellow Trinbagonians in Pan, mas, chutney, calypso, dance and the performing arts, all done in caricature. It was a blast. Jason was his usual self on the Pan; while Daisy had to tell her story how she became the oldest living female Pan player and pioneer. All three personalities also represented the Red, White and Black with distinction and pride.

Daisy James Mc Lean (standing, front right) - with Harlem Syncopators
Female pan pioneer Daisy James Mc Clean, and storyteller Baba C who was over the moon about the exhibition Fiftyo Faces by Keith Anderson.    Photo:  Keith Anderson


Daisy James Mc Lean (standing, front right) - with Harlem Syncopators
Panist extraordinaire Jason “Peanut” Isaac being visited by storm troopers of the movie Star Wars who were well represented at the recent Baltimore Comic Com.     Photo:  Keith Anderson



Until next week, wherever you are in Pan’s Diaspora, keep loving up The Pan.

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Comment by dunstan lawrence on October 4, 2011 at 9:24pm
i have no problem ith the winning steelband getting $2 million dollars for the 1st prize for panorama but what about the composers ot the winning song,all he gets is: his name on a piece of cloth, when he pays $6000.00 to record his song, write lyrics and melody,struggle for air play and gets no work because people don't want that kind of music in fetes monach or road march no more
Comment by Alicia Caesar on September 1, 2011 at 3:31pm
No. Pan is not about Panorama. Pan should be about respecting  self. Pan doesn't have that. For me the joy of Pan Festival was killed by the last President and this new one either doesn't have a clue on doesn't have the support. Many a time there are events and it is not properly advertise and the true pan followers always find the price to high but will pay the same thing to go to a Buju show. Done talk.
Comment by Anthony McQuilkin on September 1, 2011 at 9:42am
The three-peat was 1986,1988 and 1992.

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