When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music





(Written: Feb 2, 2017)

Panorama 2017 got off the ground, and is in full swing, this, in the midst of the 2016 non-payment controversy that intensified on January 2, 2017 at the Massy All Stars panyard, pointing towards the executive of the pan governing body, Pan Trinbago, to demit office, compounded by the threat, then, of “no Panorama 2017”.

Despite a delayed start, Single-pan bands have already been fully adjudicated, with Medium and Large preliminaries just completed.

Pan, as a conduit to direct or re-direct youth on a path of discipline, is one of the nation’s crime-prevention ‘apparatuses’ – “pick-up a panstick instead of a gun” – but with payment failures and squabbles, it leaves many to conclude that pan does not seem a viable option at this time.

Sending a distinct message to those called upon to responsibly manage the affairs of and improve the pan fraternity, panists have indicated that the love of pan goes without say, but want the world to know that they are resilient, loyal to the artform, want to do better, and understand the need for and benefits of the competition, and despite the psychological trauma assaulted on them from this resting impasse, they have risen to the challenge – they are ensuring a good Panorama happens.

Thus, the high caliber of music already adjudicated on, no doubt, being testimony that all is well with the musical trajectory – which creates or boosts the competition itself – then, why is there this perennial problem of ineffective payment to bands when yearly, the music gets more superior? What are the Public Relations and Sales teams really selling?

Panists are aware of the power, full potential, salability, and lucrativeness of pan.

 “The best way out is always through”, says deceased American poet, Robert Lee Frost, and so, panists are hoping the comptrollers find “the best way out” of this honorarium dilemma if they are to stay in.

A heavy burden to bear, these music service providers, have consistently felt the wrath, pain, disrespect and humiliation of being “always through” the managerial, accountability and integrity debilities of those ‘large’ and in charge.

The clarion call: to be respected and considered worthy – be fully paid, if not promptly after competition, then within three weeks thereafter.

While it’s unclear what the size or aesthetics of the ‘Big Yard’ [savannah] would reflect for the ‘world’s biggest pan party’ come February 12th, from all indications given quality music, this year’s Panorama is shaping-up to be the best, but does that guarantee that the event will generate a substantial profit?

The Panorama Financial Statement when published within six weeks after carnival, will advise upon.

Chairman Kenny DeSilva, head of the NCC [National Carnival Committee] – under whose purview Panorama lies – has already outlined new [and hopefully improved] changes to Panorama VIP patrons as it relates to the effective management of complimentary tickets and liberal use of refreshments …but will this change derive profit?

Not just the arrangement of tunes, but the original tunes themselves are triggering a natural party high, which has proven to attract more patrons to the ‘big yard’, especially when the top three bands are playing any of them.

The top bands currently in winner’s row (from 2016) – Desperadoes, reigning and 11-time Panorama champs; Supernovas, history-making second-place; and Renegades, hat-trick and nine-time champs tied with Phase 2 – are bracing for stiff competition.

Like the Next Top Model: who will be the Next Top Three Bands?... is the burning question pan lovers, worldwide, are asking.



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Comment by Toolumboy on February 8, 2017 at 10:15pm
I recently had the pleasure of meeting miss blood at the renegades pan theater. Having been away from trinidad for a long time, it was refreshing conversation. We chatted about jit samaroo, the new arranger, and the like. I can say that miss blood has her finger on the pulse of trinbago. Good work, keep it up.
Comment by Ajamu Nyomba on February 8, 2017 at 8:25am

Actually, many pannists in the Diaspora believe that Trini pannists 'have no balls." Removal of the entire execcutive body of Pan Trinbago should have been one of the pre-conditions for Panorama 2017.

No monies owed, No removal of Diaz and his cronies--NO PANORAMA!

Exploitation "for the sake of culture," is still exploitation.

Comment by patrick on February 7, 2017 at 9:56pm

I definitely don't want my daughter, if I had one for example, to play pan with bandits. Period.

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