Pan history in the words of the pioneers

TT – US-based Trinidadian broadcaster extraordinaire, Von Martin, has written a book about key people who contributed to the development of the steelpan. And, no two ways about it, this should be compulsory reading for anyone with a serious interest in the instrument and a solid sampling of some of the more important men and women associated with it over the years.

There is no pretence at academic rigour. No hypothesis being tested. No side-stepping the seemingly mundane. Just a celebrated media-man and a vast and valuable professional archive he chose to share.

Voices of Pan Pioneers of Trinidad & Tobago – The Beginning of a Global Legacy is the wordy title of a valuable 290-page narrative on society – largely in Port of Spain – in the 1940s and 50s and the features of life then that served to advance the cause of an instrument and its players that ventured boldly into the social and cultural mainstream.

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