Date: 7.28.02


The Pan Stars came out to shine...


Yet another successful coming together of the Steel band community was the order of the day -and the evening- on Sunday 28 July 2002 from about 4 PM - 11 PM.  Billed as a Musical Crusade, New York's top Steel bands came together at Dem Stars' pan yard on Utica Ave. and Tilden Rd. and put on 'pantastic' performances throughout the evening.

Sonatas Steel Orchestra, Marsican Steel Orchestra, Ambassadors Steel Orchestra, Despers USA, Utopia Pan Soul and CASYM were hosted by Dem Stars for an event which brought out hundreds of Pan Lovers eagerly getting their fill of sweet pan music on an almost perfect Sunday afternoon.  With the energetic youthful players playing alongside some of the 'pioneers' of the New York pan movement, the Pan Stars had their musical 'say' in their respective bands, while their key supporters egged them on to soar to even sweeter pan heights.

The Dem Stars' initiative is yet another in the string of successful collaborations by New York steel bands, leading up to the big night of 31 August for the USSA 2002 Panorama.   With the crowds numbering in the hundreds turning up for these launches, the main event on Panorama night for the thousands of pan lovers will be the climax to New York's 2002 pan season.

Some of the 'Stars' almost did not get to display their brilliance - at Dem Stars' Musical Crusade on Sunday 28 July 2002.  With the event set for 4 PM - 11 PM, it was indeed an unpleasant surprise to find the evening's delights were being taken away - in the middle of a simply beautiful display of musical mastery by tried and true Despers USA as they entertained the crowd at Dem Stars' panyard.

As the pan thirsty crowd was having their musical thirst slaked - just after what was only the second selection from Despers USA, sometime after 8 PM came the unpleasant and extremely unwelcome announcement "Thanking patrons for coming, but that the event was ended due to the crowds outside the venue - and that NYPD had ordered the event to come to a close". 

Needless to say - patrons were disgruntled, and the comments stemming from distaste, anger, disappointment and what have you - were loud.  As Despers USA quickly complied with NYPD's orders and took down their pans after only playing two selections - the "why they [cops] does always have to do dis kinda ting" and "Ah pay meh $5.00 and I ain't going no way" type comments came hard and fast as people gave vent to their feelings.

Before things got to this point - the musical crusade was just another place where all Pan Lovers could come and drink their fill of sweet pan as the USSA 2002 New York Panorama 2002 on 31 August, and Labor Day celebrations drew near.  Sonatas Steel Orchestra had already performed and dashed off to another engagement, and was just one of six Steel Bands hosted by Dem Stars at their pan yard on Utica Ave. and Tilden Rd. in Brooklyn.  Marsican's and Ambassadors' Steel Orchestras had followed Sonatas.  Utopia Pan Soul and CASYM completed the line up of seven bands for what was expected to be just another sweet pan lime.

As patrons began to file out of the panyard, they were met with a wave of people coming back into the venue - triumphantly proclaiming that 'the music would still play -and to just enjoy the moment".  NYPD had decided that as long as the crowds were off the sidewalks/streets and inside the pan yard - then the show could go on.  Of course the 'stormers' outside were in their glee - and poured into the now open gates along with the returning bonafide patrons who had earlier paid their way - to continue to the pan party.

With things waxing warm again, Utopia Pan Soul stepped up and served up credible musical arrangements and mastery that makes the band one to watch - should they get their hands (and mallets) on some superior instruments.  CASYM followed with an energetic opening and fiery pace which they maintained while in the spotlight, with their youthful players (and the crowd!) thoroughly enjoying themselves .

Hosts Dem Stars put the stamp on the evening's event which, though the prospects looked 'stormy' at one point for all the bands to perform, when the air cleared, allowed the all the Pan Stars to come out and shine again.

by CP - Basement Press Release Writer



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Last modified: August 13, 2002