VIBRATIONS IN STEEL
hearts and minds
did not have to wait until 'well into' the New York Pan season to be
treated to sounds of steel. What could be regarded as the official
launch was Vibrations in Steel, a Sunday May 25, 2003 'afternoon into evening' experience, at the
auditorium of the Wingate High School in Brooklyn, that caused many a
musical movement in the very souls of those fortunate enough to be in
attendance. An intimate setting provided the backdrop for the
musical pan artistry of some of New York's top steelbands including Pantonic,
ADLIB and Women In Steel.
With a scheduled
runtime from 6:00 to 10:30 PM, Pan Ambassadors' soloist Akeeda Scanterbury
opened the evening's proceedings with a tenor version of the Anthem.
Caribbean Youth Panoramics (CYP)
were first on stage with three selections, one an original composition -
GROOVE TIME - by the band's founder and arranger, Joseph 'Franklyn'
Gerald. The audience roared their approval for CYP's dynamic
rendition of their closing number, BE STILL MY SOUL.
black and silver, Women In Steel
kicked off their segment with - what else - a signature declaration intro
of the Denyse Plummer kaiso classic - WOMAN IS BOSS. Each band included a
gospel piece in their repertoire for the evening, and for Women In Steel,
it was JESUS JOY OF MAN'S DESIRE. They were followed by a band well
accustomed to the performance circuit, Long-Island based
ADLIB who did what they do
best, which is, put on a show. Never fazed by bright lights, the
mainly teenaged band members just set the scene as if to say 'This is how
it's done'. Theirs was the first of three bands who would combine
vocals and steel.
their trademark colors of gold and black,
Sonatas were fourth in the
evening's seven-band line up and also had vocals - a threesome -
complimenting one of their selections - ALLELUIA. Long-time Sonatas'
resident arranger Ken 'Professor' Philmore took pride of place while being
backed up by the band which was simultaneously under the baton of Dane
One of New York's
class steelband acts, Pantonic
Steel Orchestra, had their time under the bright lights, and reminded
all why their name is synonymous with excellence in steelband circles.
Visually Dem Stars was the largest
contingent to take the stage due mainly to their unique bass
configuration. They showed great strides in both
content and delivery, and served as reminder that the band is a force to
be reckoned with.
curtain down in a fitting finale of a performance were
Pan Ambassadors who also
added vocals to their gospel number - HEAR OH LORD - and also 'stepped up'
their presence in the steelband world. Panists from all the
bands were eye-catchingly attired and created as much a visual stir as
they did memorable impressions while they played through their well-rehearsed and varied repertoires.
A definite show
of pan fraternity was evident at Vibrations in Steel, with the attendance
of executive members of other New York steel bands who did not perform at
this particular steelband concert. In general all the
panists, especially the younger band members, thoroughly enjoyed the
opportunity to showcase their pan artistry, a fact that was not lost on
the audience who were in tune every step of the way with each band's
Special Pan guest artiste was Dane Gulston,
who had the eyes and ears of all when his time came to shine. The
crowd reaction was loudly appreciative of his performance as he played and
pandered to their musical whims. The show flowed fairly well
for the most part, and made it evident that when Pan is 'in concert' it is
well able to hold it's own; that the choice of other acts such as the
'comic relief' routine billed as an 'added attraction', may perhaps be
reconsidered in favor of additional pan soloists/acts with proven track
records of excellence.
Of those attendees who put a small card
with their names and email into a basket earlier on, one lucky patron
received an exclusive copy of the new Pan Rebels Live! CD, which was
'raffled' off during the evening.
Wingate High School was an excellent
choice in venue for the near capacity crowd in it's comfortably
appointed auditorium, centrally located and with unlimited parking; an all
round class setting for class acts. Vibrations in Steel delivered
what it promised and a whole lot more.
The success of
this event reiterates the fact that Pan continues to be a vibrant and
constantly growing entertainment form that is part of New York's musical
and cultural landscape. The music critics, talent agents and
promoters who attended and made their presence known, are testimony to the
strength of steelband concerts as a primary drawing card.
For those who missed Vibrations in
Steel, the good news is that a CD and DVD of this event are expected out in the near
future. Look out for more on the release date from
When Steel Talks.
On the other hand, upon hearing and seeing the event on DVD, many more
will hope that it is held again in 2004 to experience it 'live', not
wanting to be among the 'few who did not make it'!
CP - Basement Press Release Writer
Click here for an Audio Visual Review of
Vibrations in Steel!!
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