Orchestra's Stage Side [small representation of the much larger steel
orchestra, which could comprise as much as five times as many players]
dished out two servings of hot steelband sounds at the
Chile Pepper Fiesta
on Sunday October 6 at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, which
annually celebrates the harvest and culinary uses of the peppers with a
host of events ranging from music and dance, to special children
attractions, to multiple samplings of hot dishes featuring what else - the
No stranger to
keeping crowds going, PANTONIC delivered two blistering 45-minute
servings of steel from 2:00 P.M. and again at 4:00 P.M. at the Gardens'
Lilly Pool Terrace in the cool and sunny autumn afternoon. Selection
after selection garnered appreciative applause from the poolside
gathering, which though small at first, quickly grew as the steelband's
music attracted more crowds in mere minutes.
quite a few people had never heard a steelband up close before, and
comments such as "but they're quite good!" and the like, were repeated
throughout; perhaps experiences such as the occasional lone pan man in the
subway was their only experience of a 'steel pan'. They seemed quite
surprised at what they were hearing, and what type of instruments the
sounds were emanating from! Of course there were a few who were
quite proud of their basic knowledge of pan, and with an air of
slight superiority impressed upon their companions that "steelbands could
be much larger, and sometimes played for 15 minutes at a competition
[Panorama], - and described the arrangement as "quite a musical epic".
And then there was the small Caribbean contingent who knew exactly why
they were there, and wailed [danced] away to the music.
Borough President Marty Markowitz, a known supporter of Caribbean culture,
also danced a few steps as he passed through to enjoy PANTONIC's
performance, declaring himself one with the people, at the same time not
missing the chance to touch base with a few of his constituents.
repertoire simmered slowly with 'musical standards' such as Grover
Washington's "Mr. Magic", and Bill Withers' "Just
the Two of Us". The
band's soloists showed off their musical (and percussion) mettle when it came their time to
shine. The crowd punctuated each soloist's stint with spontaneous
bursts of applause after each cameo.
The crowd's 'Oohs' and 'Aahs' mounted as they recognized
songs, while many an onlooker furiously clicked away with their cameras
for a photographic record of the performance. Those with camcorders
of course went away with enviable audio-visual mementos as they captured
some of the band's performance to enjoy again and again.
pan players then gradually turned up the heat with tracks such as "Time
After Time" and "La
Bamba" and of course their winning Panorama 2002 tune - "Ben
Lion". PANTONIC chipped away throughout their sessions, but when
it came time for their Panorama selection, the members literally 'got
down' some - literally low in their pans, some with hands in the air; and
the crowd moved right along with them. Needless to say - the
resounding applause at the end of the musical 'servings' - was testimony
to the crowd's complete enjoyment of PANTONIC Steel Orchestra's hot
For more on
PANTONIC go to their homepage at:
By CP - Basement Press Release Writer