WST Newsfeed

Breaking Global Steelpan News

Web Posted - Saturday October 31, 2020
When Steel Talks

Panist Rodney Small named cultural Ambassador for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Rodney Small

Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, W.I. - Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves named panist Rodney Small among Four Vincentian Musicians on Tuesday (Oct. 27) to received the honour of becoming Cultural Ambassadors for St. Vincent and the Grenadines with immediate effect.
see more

Web Posted - Friday October 30, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Veron Henry - Manufacturer, Tuner, Arranger and Panist

Global - “...Time has come that the drums or barrels be standardized so that the texture and thickness of the metal along with the other materials used to make the drums are all one thing. I believe that this will help with creating a uniformed sound.” –– Veron Henry

Tuner, arranger and panist Veron Henry shares his steelpan history as he exposes his deep passion for manufacturing and tuning instruments of Pan in an exclusive interview
see interview

Web Posted - Friday October 30, 2020
When Steel Talks

Kwame Ture on the Origin of SteelBands

Global - Sometime in the late 1930s, the government in another of its persistent and futile attempts to suppress African cultural survivals, decided that the colony would more easily be governable if drums and other traditional musical instruments were outlawed. The colonials must have sensed, and correctly, the importance of music in the cultural independence and political resistance of the African masses. I would, of course, encounter this phenomenon again in the American South. But at least the George Wallaces and Ross Barnetts of that world never tried to outlaw our spirituals and freedom songs. Though I’m sure they must have often wished they could have.
read more

Web Posted - Thursday October 29, 2020
When Steel Talks

TASPO | Sterling Betancourt | The 1951 Festival of Britain

London, United Kingdom - Sterling Betancourt MBE talks about his experience of performing at the 1951 Festival of Britain with Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra (TASPO). This clip shows rare, live footage of TASPO’s performance.
see documentary

Web Posted - Wednesday October 28, 2020
When Steel Talks

Happy Birthday to the legendary Len “Boogsie” Sharpe

Happy Birthday to the legendary Len “Boogsie” Sharpe

When Steel Talks extends Birthday Greetings to panist, champion arranger and performing artist Len “Boogsie” Sharpe.

Leave message & greetings

Web Posted - Wednesday October 28, 2020
When Steel Talks

Moods Pan Groove - ‘Signal for Lara’ - Len “Boogsie” Sharpe - 1995

Brooklyn, New York, USA - This is a special recording by Basement Recordings of the legendary Len “Boogsie” Sharpe’s arrangement as played by Moods Pan Groove in 1995. Over ninety musicians assembled a couple of days on a Brooklyn Street in East New York to deliver this command performance - as they prepared for New York Panorama 1995. The performance was captured with a 24bit digital recorder, one of the very few in the world at that time.
hear performance

Web Posted - Tuesday October 27, 2020
When Steel Talks

From Bamboo to Steel

Steel bands in Britain: their history and future

London Film School - Steelband

London, United Kingdom - This film is being shared for free as part of LFSFF - the London Film School Film Festival - a monthly collection of memorable films from our archive, all created by our MA Filmmaking students in termly exercises or at the culmination of their studies in the form of Grad Films. Each edition of LFSFF is curated through the lens of a different theme.
see film

Web Posted - Monday October 26, 2020
When Steel Talks

Mikey Enoch - Pioneer, Panist, Pan Tuner - In his own voice

Pioneer, Panist and Pan Tuner Mikey Enoch

Global - Listen to the late iconic steelpan pioneer, tuner and panist Mikey Enoch in his own voice. This seminar was captured at a When Steel Talks/Basement Recordings pan class in the early 1990s.

Tuner Mikey Enoch was unequivocally one of the pillars of the New York steelband music movement. If you learned to play pan in New York your first pan could have been made by Mikey Enoch - a key figure in the development of NY pan.
listen here

Web Posted - Sunday October 25, 2020
When Steel Talks

Culture of the Arts Collector parts with Trinidad and Tobago Collection - “Time to say goodbye. Trinidad is not interested” says George Maharaj

George Maharah with boxes, part of his donated culture trove

Canada - “Time to say goodbye. Trinidad is not interested so I donated my entire collection of calypso, steelpan, combo, chutney, big band, rapso, Christmas, parang, Caribbean soul... music from 1912 to 1989. Over 5,000 records to a foreign institution that promised to preserve, document, and digitize the music. This is the first set of boxes ready to be shipped.....Records formats are LPs, EPs, 10, picture sleeves, and 78s. The next shipment is set to go next week. 50 more boxes to packaged.” –– George Maharaj
read more

Web Posted - Friday October 23, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Earle Wong - Tuner, Recording Artist, Educator, Panist and Engineer

Canada - “If I do have a blueprint, it is embedded in my head. The younger tuners today have a more systematic approach with actual measurements. Older tuners still eyeball a lot of the steps. In today’s world, we have a lot of specialization where we have people specializing in the building which encompasses sinking, grooving and preparation. Then there are people who prepare and break in (first tune) and then there are the tuners who finish the process. To be an accomplished tuner, one must go through all the steps to arrive at the ultimate.” –– Earle Wong

Performing artist, educator, arranger and panist Earle Wong shares his steelpan history as he exposes his deep passion for Pan in an exclusive interview with Ms. Aisha Joseph
read more

Web Posted - Friday October 23, 2020
When Steel Talks

Different Timbres (1980)

An examination of Steelpan Production - Archives of Ontario

Different Timbres (1980)

Ontario, Canada - This documentary by Claire Prieto and Roger McTair examines steel drum production, education, performance and cultural influence in Ontario in the 1970s and 1980s. It follows the stories of men and women who work with steel drums in various capacities, including a steel drum tuner, university and primary school students performing on steel drums, as well as two steel band orchestras..
see documentary

Web Posted - Wednesday October 21, 2020
When Steel Talks

Education Catalyst for the Creative Sector

by Sunity Maharaj

Steelpan Instructor Aquil Arrindell (in green) with graduating class

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - ....We talk ad nauseum about a future built on innovation but keep missing the dirty tricks that history has played in bequeathing us the legacy of an economy where it is possible to become a multi-millionaire by importing cheap plastic goods from abroad while our most creative, innovative minds are devalued and languish in poverty. It is no accident that while we invented and developed the Steelpan its wealth potential is being developed by others with the benefit of systems that value individual enterprise and entrepreneurship. Go back to the story of pan and ask yourself whether the explosion and excitement of invention that enraptured teenagers throughout Laventille, Woodbrook and other areas was not our version of Silicon Valley. Then contrast the US celebration of ingenuity and invention with our response of ostracism that endures to this day in the policy attitude towards our creatives as one of welfare and not investment.
read more

Web Posted - Thursday October 15, 2020
When Steel Talks

Who Knew? The Steelpan - the Tenor - proves the mightiest of challenges in Amazing Race 32’s first leg

It ain’t that easy - playing a Pan, that is

Amazing Race

Global - So who knew that the Tenor voice of the steelpan family of instruments, would prove to apparently be the most difficult challenge for some team members on the CBS Amazing Race’s latest season premiere, which started off in Trinidad and mainly, Tobago? Indeed, the eleven pairs of competitors who participated in the first leg of Season 32, had no idea what lay in store for them on an instrument which many music lovers around the world have deemed among the easiest to get the hang of.

....But the only thing that might be termed ‘easy’ on this group, regarding getting past what Amazing Race organizers dubbed the ‘Road Block’ - was the beautiful beach in Tobago that was the site for this activity. Teams had to learn to play a part of a song. As host Phil Keoghan put it: “If they can hit the right notes and stay ‘in time,’ they’ll end this ‘Road Block’ on a high note, with a clue.” That, so the teams could move on to the final first-leg test, the famously fun Tobago Goat Race.

read more - Watch and Listen  projector

Web Posted - Wednesday October 14, 2020
The Loop

Cardi B and Nicki Minaj Two leading New York - Trinidadian rappers coming together?

Hip Hop queens collaborating

Global - According to rumours, Cardi B and Nicki Minaj are currently working on a collaboration with a song called “Lavish.” While there is no concrete proof (yet), the “WAP” singer recently took to Twitter to tease an upcoming collab that is sure to make people mad. And well, unless it’s Offset, Nicki seems like the most obvious guess.
read more 

Web Posted - Tuesday October 13, 2020
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

Tobagonians excited for Amazing Race premiere Wednesday night

Cast members of the AMAZING RACE 2020 - Season 32, pictured together

Trinidad &  Tobago, W.I. Former Tourism Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine said she is excited for the premiere of ‘The Amazing Race’ on October 14 on CBS as the first leg of season 32, which was filmed in Trinidad and Tobago.

The majority of the filming took place in Tobago.

The Amazing Race is an Emmy award-winning reality show.

....People like the show’s local locations manager LaToya Williams said it was “a proud moment” for her.

....She also said participants and crew visited the Nylon Pool, took part in goat racing in Buccoo, and played steel pan with Redemption Sound Setters Steel Orchestra.

Lorraine O’Connor, Local Facilitator, said she was happy the show’s promoter chose Trinidad and Tobago to kick off season 32. She said she was also excited they hired local talent.

....The Government was also involved in facilitating production through FilmTT when shooting took place in 2018.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday October 13, 2020
The Bucks Herald

Aylesbury Vale libraries host Black History Month exhibitions

October is Black History Month, an annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of black people in the UK

Aylesbury, England - To help celebrate Black History Month, Buckinghamshire libraries have worked with local Arts and Heritage community organisation St. Vincent & the Grenadines 2nd Generation (SV2G) to give residents a chance to view some fascinating Black History Month exhibitions at five local libraries.

....A Steelpan Town explored the rich diverse history of steelpan music, the musicians and the instrument itself in High Wycombe. The project captured the main steel bands that were formed in High Wycombe. Many steelpan musicians from St. Vincent and the Grenadines settled into High Wycombe from the late 1950s. The New Sound Crusaders Steel Band became famous when in 1971 they won the national TV programme ‘Opportunity Knocks’ for six consecutive weeks. A modern-day equivalent programme of Opportunity Knocks would be Britain’s Got Talent.

This exhibition is showing at Aylesbury, Buckingham and High Wycombe libraries.

....Visit for more details of the Black History Month exhibitions
read more

Web Posted - Monday October 12, 2020
News Americas Now

This Caribbean Country Is In The Spotlight On The Amazing Race

Chee Lee, a cast member of the AMAZING RACE 2020, is pictured in Tobago learning to play the steel pan with Redemption Sound Setters in 2018
Above:  Chee Lee, a cast member of the AMAZING RACE 2020, is pictured in Tobago learning to play the steel pan with Redemption Sound Setters in 2018

Global - A Caribbean country will be in the spotlight Wednesday [October 14] at 9 p.m. EST, as Season 32 of Emmy-winning The Amazing Race premiers on CBS television.

The Amazing Race is a reality show that sees teams of two competing all over the world for a grand prize of US$1 million and is hosted by Phil Keoghan.

....Trinidad and Tobago will be featured on the show, which was filmed before the pandemic, back in 2018. The Emmy-award winning reality show was filmed in various locations around T&T including Exodus Panyard, Nylon Pool, Pigeon Point and the Buccoo Racing Facility, and spotlights on several of the cultural aspects of the twin-island Republic including its steelpan, Carnival costumes and goat racing.

....Keoghan revealed that he was really excited about “getting to the Caribbean” since he grew up in Antigua for eight years as a kid. “I just love the Caribbean culture. I love steel drums, cricket, the beaches, the people, the food. Particularly, like in Trinidad, the food has such a mix of culture, of Indian, South American and African influence, so it’s really a wonderful melting pot,” he told
read more

Web Posted - Monday October 12, 2020
When Steel Talks

Columbus Lie by the Mighty Shadow

Trinidad & Tobago - The late great "Shadow” shares the true history of Christopher Columbus.

Web Posted - Saturday October 10, 2020
The Nation

Trinidad and Tobago to boost cultural exchange with Nigeria, says high commissioner

Nigeria - The Trinidad and Tobago High Commissioner to Nigeria Wendell De Landro  has said his country plans using its steel band music to boost cultural exchange between his country and Nigeria. He made this comment during a recent food festival in Abuja: Taste of the Caribbean. He said the high commission plans to introduce steel music in Nigerian schools. He said: “I thought it is best to highlight our Carnival by exhibiting two of our mas costumes which were used for the recent festivities in February 2019 and 2020. They are displayed here together with our steel pan (tenor pan) which is being played by a talented Nigerian. He will be playing calypso music (which is similar to high life music) and also contemporary Nigerian music. Plans are already in place to introduce the steelpan in schools and churches, in fact, the Nigerian National Orchestra is currently using the tenor pan with other African instruments to expand is repertoire.”
read more

Web Posted - Wednesday October 7, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Lauren Pierre - Administrator, Planner, Panist - UpClose & Personal!

Lauren Pierre

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “I truly believe that work shouldn’t feel like work. If steelpan is your passion, work hard at your craft and you will succeed. Be courageous.” –– Lauren Pierre

She is a straight-up game changer. Highly intelligent, skilled and yet she remains humble, caring and true to her belief system. You have seen her work and felt her passion, as this greatly-talented problem-solver walks point in the transformation of the steelband association of Trinidad and Tobago known as Pan Trinbago.

The artform of the steelband is her life and passion. In addition she is immensely in tune with the cultural impact of technology on culture. In a When Steel Talks exclusive - administrator, planner and panist Lauren Pierre shares her zeal for Pan and her vision for the way forward.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday October 6, 2020
When Steel Talks

Wynton Marsalis on Trumpet & Salmon Cupid on the E- Pan with the Steelpan App PRO

Wynton Marsalis on Trumpet & Salmon Cupid on the E- Pan with the Steelpan App PRO

Global - Salmon Cupid:  “The GREAT Wynton Marsalis on Trumpet playing in the key of “Bb” let’s see if I can keep up playing in the key of “F”... We all have the ability to slow it down and learn it.

I am using the Steelpan App PRO. It’s educational, fun, AND very interactive. Practicing and learning virtually and on the run is as easy as 1-2-3. Download the Steelpan App PRO and join me!
see video

Web Posted - Saturday October 3, 2020
The Antigua Observer

National honour for Hells Gate Steel Orchestra

Reigning Panorama champions Hells Gate Steel Orchestra will become the first steelband in Antigua and Barbuda to receive a national honour, after the government decided to confer the accolade on the 75-year-old band during the 2020 Independence celebration

Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - The reigning Panorama champions will make history by becoming the first steelband in Antigua and Barbuda to receive a national honour.

The Cabinet, during its meeting on Thursday, decided that the Caribbean Union Bank Hells Gate Steel Orchestra, the oldest steelband in the world, will be honoured during this year’s Independence celebrations in November.

The band, which hails from the Point community, was founded in 1945, and is celebrating its 75th year of existence. It “is deserving” of a national honour, the post-Cabinet notes read.

In addition to the national honour, Cabinet has decided to grant the non-profit steelband a long-term lease or ownership of the parcel of land at Dredge Bay where its instruments are stored and where the band practices.

Veron Henry, son of one of the founding members, Eustace “Manning” Henry, shared his elation on hearing the good news.

“I am very honoured and proud that the government would have seen it fit to bestow such an award on the Hells Gate Steel for being not only the oldest band in the region, but the ‘winningest’ in Antigua as well, in the world even, because I don’t think any other band would have the amount of championships that Hell’s Gate has; so I am very honoured,” Henry said.
read more

Web Posted - Saturday October 3, 2020
When Steel Talks

Notting Hill Carnival 2020 -  PANOLOGY

The Virtual Edition


London, U.K. - Notting Hill Carnival 2020 - The Virtual Edition. NHC Online - Panology. Featuring performances from Mas bands, Steelbands & Brazilian bands. Justin Russell filmed at The Tabernacle; Delphina James filmed at The Tabernacle; Ebony, Endurance, Mangrove & Metronomes Filmed at The Royal Albert Hall.
Watch and Listen  projector

Web Posted - Friday October 2, 2020
When Steel Talks

New Dimension Steel Orchestra - Poet and Peasant Overture

 A Moment In Pan - LIVE in Brooklyn, New York - panyard recording - 2005

Mrs. Regan Mendes conducts New Dimension Steel Orchestra performing Poet and Peasant Overture (Franz Von Suppe)

Global - In the Summer of 2005 When Steel Talks had the honor of watching New Dimension Steel Orchestra from Grenada as they prepared for the World Steelband Music Festival (WSMF), held that year at Madison Square Garden in New York.  The orchestra performed Poet and Peasant Overture (Franz Von Suppe ) as conducted by Mrs. Regan Mendes.  That preparatory performance of New Dimension was captured by Basement Recordings, Inc.
see performance

Web Posted - October 2020
When Steel Talks

Steelpan Music Headlines

When Steel Talks breaking stories

Global - Important stories from all over the world.
Read, Watch and Listen  projector