Brooklyn Block Party
By ADIKA BUTLER
Pear shaped beauties with bodies made for sin profiled under the Brooklyn sun, as the Sonatas Steel Orchestra hosted its block party on Sterling Place. While the event allowed both friendly conversation and untold mischief, it also gave young bands like Utopia Pan Soul an opportunity to share their sound with the island community.
Hundreds lined the street listening to their melodies, but the 10 player band—now in its fourth season—will not be heading to Pan-O-Rama for economic reasons. “We’re a young band, so we really don’t have the finances,” said band Treasurer Sheldon Eltock.
Band President Kurt Rogers said that although it would be nice to attend the event it is far from being the sole measure of Utopia’s success. “[Utopia] is a learning institution,” said Rogers. “We’re concerned with teaching the youth the real deal of what this culture’s about,” Eltock added.
While Utopia was setting up, the young Marsicans pan players were doing the same across the street. The band, arranged by Abel Fast, Wilfred Kiel and Simon Romeo are looking forward to their first Pan-O-Rama with the United States Steel band Association (USSA).
However, they are still unsure about what they will perform. “We don’t know yet…It’s way to early to decide,” said band secretary James Francois, a 52-year-old medical student.
A young pan player in the band simply referring to him self as Junior said that he enjoys playing pan music because it allows him to embrace his culture. “I was brought up in the Caribbean, listening to it, so it’s part of everyday life,” said Junior, who claimed to be 29 but looked no older than 25.
Valerie Flores, 22, said that she’s in the band “just for the activity.” Sesame Flyers Manager Keith Marcelle, 43, a mortgage consultant said that the 16-year-old band came in at 8th place at the USSA’s Pan-O-Rama last year. Although its objective this year is to grab the number one spot, Marcelle said that it’s import that the band just enjoys this year’s event sponsored by the USSA.
“We just do the music the arranger gives us and leave the rest to the judges.”
You can E-mail the writer at AdikaButler@yahoo.com
Marsicans Steel Orchestra
112 Veronica Place
Sesame Flyers Steel Orchestra
P.S.181 on New York Avenue
Utopia Pan Soul:
1634 Nostrand Avenue.