The ever-increasing popularity of Carnival festivals across the US and around the globe has also led to increased interested in our national instrument, the pan. So says ace Trinidad All Stars player (and Pan Trinbago’s External Relations Officer), Dane Gulston. Speaking to Kitcharee at a recent event, Gulston said:
“This year we’re seeing a resurgence of international interest in the instrument… and I believe it’s at least partly driven by the increasing number of carnivals happening in different states and cities across America. The Caribbean Diaspora is being re-energised and reinvigorated even as we come together more often to celebrate our music, icons, fashion, food and culture. The fact that not one or two, but three of the best steelbands from Trinidad were brought to Florida last month to enhance and add to the ‘Miami Carnival’ festivities shows that the demand is there for the sound of the steelpan and even locally, we’re seeing a greater number of events hosted and produced by those in the steelband fraternity.”
Gulston and the Massy Trinidad All Stars Steel orchestra returned from Florida recently, after performing at two major Miami Carnival events and playing alongside the Powder People sailor band for the annual parade of the bands, held at the Miami Dade County Fairgrounds. All Stars delivered a special guest performance to close the night following an intense contest at the Miami Carnival Panorama competition on October 11 at the Central Broward Recreation Park in Lauderhill, Florida. New Generation Branches, playing “Savannah Grass” by Kes emerged as the overall winners with Sticks ‘N Tones and Miami Vibez both playing Farmer Nappy’s “Hookin Meh” earning the second and third positions respectively.
The Trinidad All Stars steel ensemble then featured alongside BP Renegades and Desperadoes at the “Stars of Trinbago: Steelband Spectacular on October 12 at the Miramar Amphitheatre, Miramar Parkway, Florida.
Massy Trinidad All Stars are now supremely focused on rehearsals and the road that lies ahead toward their biannual concert event scheduled to be held at NAPA on November 31 and December 1 titled “Classical Jewels XII - The Movie”.
Musical director for the event, Dr Mia Gormandy-Benjamin explained that the band will be performing “classic pieces from some of the most iconic movies in cinema history”.
“This event represents the start of the All Stars’ 85th anniversary celebrations and as the longest surviving steelband, we always try to set a high standard of excellence by challenging ourselves to not only think outside of the box that many would put the national instrument into, but also to execute on these unconventional ideas and allow our supporters and the general public to experience the infinite possibilities of the steel pan.”
For more information, please call 627-2127 or 684-8916, or follow @trinidadallstars on IG, FB & TW.