International News

Sep 24, 2015
T&T - After calling the unfinished structure that was intended to be Pan Trinbago’s headquarters in Trincity an “eyesore which represents the worst of Trinidad and Tobago”, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said: “We have to return to the idea of finding a suitable headquarters for Pan Trinbago.” Rowley was the featured speaker at Invaders Steel Orchestra’s 75th anniversary gala awards and dinner on Tuesday night at the Banquet Hall and Conference Centre at MovieTowne, Port of Spain. “The building is a relic, something we refuse to accept. Maybe it was to be something marvellous that did not get to the right stage, but it is now standing in a canefield,” said Rowley. “Why not find a place in Port of Spain for the headquarters? Some things belong in the city. It draws on its location and the headquarters of the steelpan should be where people are. It is within our ability to find a location; we have to fix that. Maybe we can use the building in Trincity for something else. But we will help. Anything I can do from the office I now hold will be done,” he added.

Sep 22, 2015
T&T - Who would have thought that a Japanese steelband would be able to come to Trinidad, compete in an international Panorama - playing a non-Calypso - and still place in the top ten? This is the story of Yoshihiro Harada and his Panorama Steel Orchestra from Tokyo, Japan.

Sep 17, 2015
UK - Order of Service as far away friends and family want to see it.
Sep 9, 2015
UK - Russ Henderson's death at the age of 91 will have touched a great many people worldwide. An extraordinary man whose dynamism and zest for life inspired all those that knew him, he was still playing at the age of 90 with only six serviceable fingers, a result of arthritis and Raynaud's disease. One of seven siblings, he grew up in Port Of Spain, Trinidad, initially learning to play the piano, and subsequently steel-pan. A brutally applied anaesthetic for a tonsillectomy when he was 12 left him with a healthy scepticism for the medical profession and enquiries as to his well-being were invariably met with the response, "Well, the doctors keep telling me I'm ill". He once commented in mock horror on reading the blurb on his Raynaud's medication: "It says here that my fingers might turn white!"

Sep 6, 2015
 1. D'Radoes - 469
 2. CASYM - 466
 3. Adlib - 453
 4. Crossfire - 449
 5. Sonatas -448
 6. Despers - 441
 7. Pantonic - 438
 8. Metro - 430
 9. Steel Xplosion USA - 415
10. Harmony - 388

Aug 31, 2015
UK - Results National Panorama, J'Ouvert Bomb, Best Conventional Steelband on the road, Best Traditional Steelband on the road and Junior Panorama.
Aug 24, 2015
JM - This review was written by Richard Quarless, a former student and professor at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, and an ex-member of the Panoridim Steelband. Interesting and honest. It is intended to be the first of a two part reflection of what went well and what did not. The other review will be submitted to the ICP secretariat and Pantrinbago.
Aug 24, 2015
UK - Russ Henderson, who has died aged 91, was an eloquent jazz pianist from Trinidad and a leading figure in the steelband movement in Britain. For more than six decades he used music as a focus for community cohesion and the bettering of race relations, and was directly involved in the establishment of the Notting Hill carnival in London. The idea of a carnival in Notting Hill came from the annual Lenten tradition of “playing mas” (masquerade) in the eastern Caribbean. In 1966 the community worker Rhaune Laslett invited Henderson to bring a three-piece steel band to play for the first Notting Hill fayre and pageant, an event she had organised in conjunction with the London Free School and the photographer, writer and activist John “Hoppy” Hopkins. The small steel band arrived at Portobello Green accompanied by a crowd of regulars from the Coleherne pub, and after having played for some time in a standing position, Henderson suggested everyone should embark on a road march. The procession, joined by the public, was repeated the following day, and became the first manifestation of what has since grown into an international event attended by more than one million revellers each year.

[The Guardian]
Aug 20, 2015
USA - Gary Gibson is determined to build a steelband community in Washington state through his Steel Magic Northwest programme. Based in Edmonds, Washington, just north of Seattle, Gary Gibson is devoted to steelpan. A composer, performer, and educator with deep roots in the United States (but quite a few branches in Trinidad), Gibson is constantly playing, brainstorming, teaching and advocating for pan. Currently, he is focused on making Edmonds the home of Steel Magic Northwest, a youth development project built around the culture of the modern steel orchestra, with up to six 25-piece orchestras for youth from grades five through twelve, and two adult groups. For many years Gibson has traveled the United States as a concert artist, educator, and clinician/adjudicator. In recent years, he grew frustrated that in the typical three- to six-day artist residency, his time with students is limited and Gibson worries that despite his best efforts he rarely establishes lasting relationships with students or their community which, in turn, further meant that the pannist was rarely able to see the fruits of his labours develop over the long-term. As a result, Gibson finally decided to create a home base where young people who want to participate in a steelband can join young, develop, and stay the course for the long-term. The Steel Magic Northwest steelband program is the fruit of this labour. “It has been a frustration to travel around the United States and see this done so well in other cities, only to return to my home city, where there hasn’t ever really been a permanent, high quality, sizable steel pan group for youth or adults,” Gibson says. “I realised two or three years ago that if I wanted to see it here in my own backyard, I would have to create it myself. So that is exactly what we are doing. And in the process, we are going to build a support community that extends far beyond the panyard, and into the lives of the youth in the area.”

Aug 19, 2015
T&T - Popular Trinidad musician Russell Henderson, 91, died yesterday morning. A son of Belmont, Henderson learned to play the piano as a young man growing up in Trinidad and, by the late 1940s, had formed his own quartet. He went on to provide background music for many local recordings by calypsonians such as Roaring Lion, Mighty Growler and Lord Pretender. He was the pianist for Beryl McBurnie’s Dance Troupe at the Little Carib Theatre, Woodbrook where he gained some valuable knowledge of the steelband while teaching correct melodies to Ellie Mannette of the Invaders Steelband who also performed there.


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