Brooks Jnr wins Panograma with a Thriller

TT – Earl Brooks Jnr is the winner of the first ever Panograma solo pan competition. The final, held on Instagram on Sunday night, featured ten competitors, six of them qualifying from T&T. Other finalists represented St Maarten, Barbados and Antigua Barbuda.

Four of T&T’s pan players filled the top four position. Brooks Jnr was followed by Dejean Cain, Kersh Ramsey and Keishaun Julien, respectively. Fifth place was filled by Barbadian pannist Mark Forde.

Performing in position five, Brooks Jnr gave a well rounded performance opening his act as a ghoul to compliment his tune of choice, Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Based in New Jersey, USA, Brooks Jnr is the co-arranger of Hatters Steel Orchestra, a designation he shares with his popular father Earl Brooks Snr. He also attended Berklee College of Music.

Performing David Rudder’s Hammer, Roadblock arranger and crackshot tenor player Dejean Cain placed a close second to Brooks Jnr. Also closely placed in third position was Ramsey, having Chick Corea’s Spain as his tune of choice. Fourth-placed Julien performed Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart, while Forde performed Mikey’s Feting Family.

Panograma 2020 was produced by Nevin Roach, a panman of Tobago’s Uptown Fascinators, winner of this year’s National Panorama (Small) title. The winner of the final will receive a US$500 first prize and each finalist will get a US$100 appearance fee.

Speaking to Guardian Media after the competition, Roach said: “It was a packed house for the final of this inaugural Panograma final. We surpassed 1,000 viewers, with approximately 1,800 people in total.

“Executing this was no easy task and, despite a number of hiccups tonight, I am very happy to cross the finish line with this year’s Panograma. I am very excited about what can be achieved next year and beyond with a bigger and better Panograma.

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