sunny day was in the cards for Washington D.C.'s
Annual Caribbean Carnival on its new route beginning at 3rd Street and Madison
Drive, then along Constitution Avenue, with Capitol Hill being the initial
backdrop. Festivities were scheduled to
begin at 12 noon and spectators lined the route in anticipation long
before then, as masqueraders and pan players gathered for a fun-filled
afternoon. Interestingly enough there were other events not
connected with the carnival in the same vicinity, but passers-by of course
stopped to take in the sunny sights and sounds of costumed mas players and
pannists as both began to go through their paces.
Taking part in
the revelry and providing steelband music on the road for the carnival
were four steelbands: Trinidad and Tobago Steelband of Washington D.C.;
America Pan Groove;
Orchestra and Pan Masters.
As things got underway, the bands' supporters surrounded them from the
beginning of the route as the players swung into the music. All the
bands rolled along the route except CASYM who literally 'stood tall'
opting to remain aboard a trailer. A couple of the bands delivered
not only soca hits, but conventional 'standards' in calypso tempo as well,
such as Trini Pan America Pan Groove with Roberta Flack's
Brooklyn-based CASYM, other individual pan players who usually shared
their talents with other New York bands, were also in evidence behind some
of the pans of the other three steelbands. Of note was pan legend
Emmanuel "Corbeaux Jack" Riley, resident pan manufacturer and tuner for
Moods Pan Groove in New York, who took a rare break from making and tuning
pans, to instead make sweet music on Trini Pan America Pan Groove's
bass pans as he joined the pan side for a selection or two; definitely a
sight for the record books, since Jack is so seldom seen playing these
days. Of course there were other people showing support while making
sure they were having a fine time, like the New York based two-some from
Utopia Pan Soul: The Next Generation which had performed at the
DC Carnival Pan Jam just the previous week.
Washington D.C.-based Pan Masters brought out and of course provided music
for, a mas band called Psychedelic Sailors. Pan music could
be heard from blocks away, and young and old players and spectators alike
were involved in providing the 'energy' to keep the bands moving through
the streets, even as they were being pulled by small trucks.
As the band masqueraders moved ahead on the route, the steelband brought up the rear, and with no one behind urging to clear the way, needless to say the pan lovers continued enjoying themselves to the max.
By CP - Basement Press Release Writer
Pan In DC Carnival 2003