International News

Aug 17, 2015
T&T - The Success Laventille Secondary School (SLSS) Steel Orchestra, Success Stars Pan Sounds, is seeking assistance from the public and private sector to raise $200,000 for a trip to Cuba. The group has been invited by the Cuban Institute of Music on behalf of the Government of Cuba. It is hoped that the outcome of this journey will be the production of a documentary which will capture the experience during the planning and preparation which would include conversational Spanish classes, fund-raising efforts, rehearsals, the events in Cuba as well as the daily life and socio- economic developments in Cuba. Speaking with Newsday yesterday, project co-ordinator Nicholas Cumberbatch said the entire trip is estimated to cost $600,000. “We have already raised $400,000 towards the trip and we are in need of an additional $200,000. I don’t know if the timing is right to get the government’s attention as it is almost election.

[Newsday]
Aug 10, 2015
T&T - Results of the 1st International Panorama Competition, held at the Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, 9th August 2015.
Aug 3, 2015
CA - Pan Fantasy - winner in 2012, 2013 and 2014 - captured its fourth title by amassing 272 points with a rendition of Destra's Lucy. The rest of the results is:
Aug 2, 2015
FR - France has steelbands since several decades now. They were first adopted in the French West Indian community (from Martinique and Guadeloupe), and are more widely spread since the 90s. However, beside a mailing-list gathering most of the actors (215 members), France never had any kind of formal organization.
Aug 1, 2015
CA - What began as a centennial year project grew into an annual summer tradition. estival fever was in the air in 1967. Canada was in a celebratory mood during its centennial year and while most of the action was at Expo in Montreal, the federal government encouraged ethnic groups across the nation to showcase their contributions to a country starting to embrace its multicultural makeup. One such group was Toronto’s Caribbean community, who determined it was time to infuse the city with the colour and spirit of carnival. With less than a year of preparation, and long before there were any squabbles over management, financing, and name proprietorship, the first edition of Caribana was quickly embraced as a highlight of Toronto’s summer.

[Torontoist]
Jun 23, 2015
T&T - During the summers of the mid-1960s, social worker Rhaune Laslett persuaded Russ Henderson and his steelband trio to parade on the streets of Notting Hill at different events she had. The complex history of London’s Notting Hill Carnival is widely understood to evolve from these events. From this humble beginning grew one of the largest Carnivals in the World. Prior to that, Claudia Jones and her newspaper West Indian Gazette had staged a series of annual pre-Lenten Carnival cabarets from 1959 to 1964 at various venues. Sixty years ago, before Notting Hill, before Claudia Jones, a concert billed as The First Caribbean Carnival in London was held at the Royal Albert Hall on July 31, 1955. It was sponsored by Hugh Scotland. Though little remembered today, music historian Val Wilmer has cited him as a “legendary Jamaican entrepreneur” and one “who booked London's Caribbean and African entertainers for more than three decades.” The Royal Albert is one of the premiere concert venues in the British capital for all styles of music.

[Guardian]
Mar 29, 2015
NL - I brought back some pictures of my vacation in the Netherlands, where I have visited Frauke Lühning and her Bijlmer Steelband Kids in their own new panyard. The pan music school is an after school programme for children between 9 and 15 years. These children are very talented pan enthusiasts, some of the hardcore players hardly wanted to leave after the official rehearsal. Frauke is far more than just their passionate music teacher and arranger. She's role model, cultural activist and social worker as well. And she's way too humble as she's doing a fantastic job there!

Visit at the Bijlmer Steelband Kids
Mar 27, 2015
BB - Barbados is missing out on an untapped steel pan market. Director of headline act Mosaic Steel Pan Orchestra David Walcott made this remark while speaking to press at the Hilton Barbados Resort. Mr Walcott says the steel pan industry is big business as it becoming more and more in demand. He adds that there is an industry for the manufacturing of the musical instrument. Mr Walcott says that schools should try to include the instrument in their time table.

[Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation]

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