Archive of International News Items

Nov 25, 2014
"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa

An obituary for Ari Viitanen, music teacher, arranger, band leader and pan tuner in Finland, who suddenly passed away on November 21, 2014.
Nov 25, 2014
FI - Steelpanmannen, Karisbon Ari Viitanen avled på fredagen efter ett oväntat sjukdomsanfall. Ari Viitanen blev känd som Finlands Mr Steelpan men hans musiker- och fostrargärning omfattade också mycket annat. - Ari var alltid positiv. Han sa till många unga elever att de är begåvade. Det gav de unga musikanterna det de behövde för att våga tro på sig själv och fortsätta med sitt musicerande, beskriver kollegan och familjevännen Antti Jyrkkänen, rektor för finska skolan Kiilan koulu i Karis. Ari Viitanen kom till Karis som slöjdlärare på 1970-talet. Men hans intresse för musik, hans eget musicerande och instrumentbygge var av den arten att han snart blev musiklärare.

[Svenska Västnyland]
Oct 14, 2014
T&T - On October 10, a group of benefactors, patrons and well wishers joined to the sound of sweet pan and more music at the Renaissance in Glencoe in celebration of a decade of the Music Literacy Trust (MLT). It was a look back at a decade of achievements and a way forward with new plans and initiatives for the future.
Sep 28, 2014
T&T - When Trinis think of Alaska, they think mostly of Eskimos and igloos. But when you meet retired Alaskan trial judge, Ray Funk, those stereotypes disappear quickly. The tall and bearded Alaskan is anything but an Eskimo. He has been a serious calypso, steelband and Carnival researcher for two decades or so, coming here annually for Carnival. The Sunday Guardian caught up with Funk, who is currently in Trinidad.
Sep 7, 2014
USA - Eddie Quarless, the legendary musician, arranger and producer, passed away on September 1 in New York. He made his living playing, recording and arranging music for almost half a century, leaving an indelible imprint on the worlds of calypso, soca and steel pan in Trinidad and New York. Last summer, the authors were fortunate to catch up with Quarless in Brooklyn Metro panyard where he reminisced about his life and music.
Aug 27, 2014
UK - National Panorama, J'Ouvert Bomb Competition and Notting Hill Carnival Best Steelband on the Road - 50th anniversary celebrations.
Aug 21, 2014
UK - The profound influence of Caribbean Carnival art forms, steelpan, calypso and masquerade within the diaspora and in the wider world. 11-12 October 2014 at the University of East London, Cass School of Education and Communities, Stratford Campus and The Carnival Village.
Jul 26, 2014
Pastiche Steel Ensemble, one of Chicago's premier steelbands featuring experienced panists with graduate degrees in music, is hosting and producing the Virtual Steelband. The idea was brought to the ensemble by one of its past members Mia Gormandy after viewing Eric Whitacre's "Virtual Choir." Other Pastiche members including Yuko Asada, Abe Breiling, and Scott McConnell latched on to the idea, and they all later formed a committee to produce the Virtual Steelband.

How it works
Pan players around the world will record themselves playing an original composition, "Bella Vista", composed by Steelpan Professor Liam Teague. Each musician will perform Teague's composition using a prerecorded version by Pastiche Steel Ensemble as a base. This will allow each performance to follow a specific tempo marking and dynamic level, which will make the merging of each video a seamless one. These recordings will then be uploaded to YouTube and combined by a sound and video engineer to form the Virtual Steelband.

A global community connecting panists around the world
Virtual Steelband
Jun 2, 2014
USA - Desperadoes - Rudolf Charles Era and Beyond, 50 Years of Panorama 1963-2012, and Winners of Various Pan competitions 1952 to Present.
Apr 29, 2014
T&T - In the last several days, British Pathe has released a huge part of its historic newsreel archives on Youtube. Over 80,000 clips have been uploaded. Most of these are very short, and often the scene of interest is fleeting but anyone interested in Trinidad Carnival history can’t help but be excited to get to see some intriguing bits and pieces in the collection.

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