capture hearts and minds


Steelband lovers 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, Dem Stars, CYP, Pan Ambassadors, Sonatas, 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.

Resplendent in 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.

Unmistakable in 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 Gulston.

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.

Bringing the 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 performance.

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'!

By CP - Basement Press Release Writer

Click here for an Audio Visual Review of Vibrations in Steel!!




Date: 5.26.03



Caribbean Youth Panoramics (CYP) was first
on stage and set the pace
 for the evening's sterling programme of events


Women In Steel make their mark
at Vibrations in Steel


Veteran performers ADLIB took to
the auditorium stage like ducks to water


Dane Guldston sent out his own 'vibes' during
Vibrations in Steel and literally 'worked' the crowd


Sonatas bring their own brand of royalty
to the evening's event
at the Wingate High School Auditorium


Pantonic at play during the May 25, 2003 event


Dem Stars literally had the largest 'stage presence'
at Vibrations in Steel


Pan Ambasadors' performance and their vocalist
took the Vibrations in Steel audience
 to new  musical heights

2003 Basement Recordings, Inc. All rights reserved.