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Web Posted - Thursday September 30, 2021
When Steel Talks - Reboot

Looking back:  Remembering the late Champion Arranger Ken “Professor” Philmore


Global -
....In 1974 at age of fifteen, Ken Philmore joined Hatters Steel Orchestra in south Trinidad with the intention of developing his skills as a player. On one of his early visits, a member jokingly remarked “Who is this young kid with these old fashioned glasses?” Referring to his bone-rimmed spectacles, “He looks more like a “professor” than a pan player.”

....Apart from Trinidad, he has arranged music for steel bands in the United Kingdom and in New York – in fact Ken’s first opportunity as an arranger came in 1981 when he arranged for BWIA Sonatas in New York. He consequently captured six New York Panorama titles with Sonatas Steel Orchestra.
 


Web Posted - Thursday September 30, 2021
When Steel Talks - Reboot

Looking back:  Global Steelpan Community Remembers Arranger Ken “Professor” Philmore

Ken “Professor” Philmore
Ken “Professor” Philmore

Global - Dr. Dawn Batson (Educator, Panist, Composer, Arranger) on the late Ken “Professor” Philmore:  “The prodigious talent that Trinidad and Tobago produces in all spheres is to me, a constant source of amazement. Ken “Professor” Philmore was certainly one of the stars. He was one of those persons who one would approach in awe but leave having found a friend and a kindred spirit. His music, like his personality, was always filled with warmth and joy, whether one was listening to his arrangements, to his compositions, or to his solo performances.”


Web Posted - Thursday September 30, 2021
When Steel Talks - Feel the Music - Live the Experience

UK National Steelband Panorama 2021 - Full Performances

Four Steel Orchestras as live streamed

Mangrove Steelband at the 2021 UK London Panorama

London, England, UK - Enjoy the full performances of the four steel orchestras - Ebony Steelband, Croydon Steel Orchestra, Metronomes Steel Orchestra and eventual champions Mangrove Steelband  - as they competed for the 2021 UK National Steelband championship in August. 


Web Posted - Wednesday September 29, 2021
When Steel Talks

The golden era of the great Brooklyn African-American drum and bugle corps - predecessors to Brooklyn Steel Orchestras

When Steel Talks Special

Wynn-Center Toppers
Wynn-Center-Toppers

Andy Akiho
Andy Akiho - (first on the left)

Third from left (back row) - Jonathan Scales
Third from left (back row) - Jonathan Scales

Brooklyn, New York - The world recognizes the musical works of these outstanding panists. But before their success as performers and composers who took the steelpan instrument into captivating and unexplored musical expanses, Jonathan Scales and Andy Akiho were once proud members of a drumline. Both played bass drum. And now both are New York residents. Coincidences?

It was not very long ago when you could literally see 100-player steel orchestras rolling rhythm racks, and chariots with the complete family of steelpan instruments, through the streets of Brooklyn (and - no, this was not for the Labor Day parade). From Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, East Flatbush, East New York, Brownsville and Harlem, they came and converged on the Brooklyn Museum grounds for the annual Steelband (Steel Orchestra) Panorama competition. Similarly, great marching bands used to march through the streets of Brooklyn as they converged on Bushwick Avenue for their participation in the Brooklyn Day Parade.

Educator and drumline instructor Harold Craig Barber gives an upclose and personal account of the Golden Era of Brooklyn drum and bugle corp.


Web Posted - Wednesday September 29, 2021
When Steel Talks

HADCO Phase II welcomes Government’s announcement for the re-opening of the Entertainment Sector

Fully vaccinated and raring to go! Dr. Len  “Boogsie” Sharpe interacts with some of the band’s stage side musicians during a closed practice session.
Fully vaccinated and raring to go! Dr. Len  “Boogsie”  Sharpe interacts with some of the band’s stage side musicians during a closed practice session.

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - According to Sharpe, although its membership has not resumed full stage side rehearsals since May 2021, the time has been used productively, resulting in strategic focus being placed on infrastructural works and maintenance of the band’s compound. Such efforts are in sync with the public’s expectations for quality from HADCO Group of Companies and provided meaningful short-term employment for those involved. Improvements included the installation of additional sinks for the washing of hands, the widening of the general practice area for social distancing, as well as, welding repair works. Additionally, a mandatory face mask policy continues to be in effect for all musicians, service providers and visitors, while hand sanitizers have been placed at various points for use.


Web Posted - Monday September 27, 2021
When Steel Talks - Feel the Music - Live the Experience

Sonatas - “Battle Zone”  - (‘Cool Down’ version - Video)

Panyard Recording

Sonatas - Pan in New York 2010 - Cool Down version - ‘Battle Zone’

New York, USA - This is the video special of Sonatas Steel Orchestra playing “Battle Zone” as captured by Basement Recordings two days before they won the 2010 Panorama. The arranger is Yohan Popwell. 




Web Posted - Saturday September 25, 2021
When Steel Talks - Feel the Music - Live the Experience

Sonatas Steel Orchestra - “The Ten Commandments of Pan” - (‘Tempo’ version - Video)

Panyard Recording

Sonatas Steel Orchestra 2008

Brooklyn, New York, USA -  Three days before 100 Sonatas players take the stage for the 2008 New York Steelband Panorama competition, Basement Recordings captures Sonatas Steel Orchestra, the defending champions, in their panyard.


Web Posted - Friday September 24, 2021
When Steel Talks - Feel the Music - Live the Experience - Reboot

Beyond Great: Moods Pan Groove - ‘Signal for Lara’ - Len “Boogsie” Sharpe - 1995 - (‘Panyard’ version - Audio)

Panyard Recording

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


Web Posted - Thursday September 23, 2021
The Nation

Don urges Nigerian Navy to develop steelpan music technology

Nigerian Navy School of Music

Nigeria -  An Associate Professor of Music at the Lagos State University, Isaac Yekini-Ajenifuja, has challenged the Nigeria Navy Music School (NNMS), Ota, Ogun State to create a global unbeatable identity for itself with its knowledge of steel pan production.


Web Posted - Monday September 20, 2021
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

Gillian Balintulo, celebrated pianist & former musical director and conductor of Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra, passes

Gillian Nathaniel Balintulo

Global - Gillian Balintulo, a renowned classical musician and teacher, who for many years served as musical director and conductor of the All Stars Steel Orchestra, has died in South Africa after a brief illness.


Web Posted - Monday September 20, 2021
When Steel Talks - Feel the Music - Live the Experience

Pantonic Steel Orchestra - “Stranger” - (‘Panyard’ version - Audio)

Panyard Recording

Pantonic Steel Orchestra with arranger Clive Bradley on stage at the 2001 New York Panorama competition
Pantonic Steel Orchestra with arranger Clive Bradley on stage at the 2001 New York Panorama competition

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Listen to the sounds of Pantonic Steel Orchestra with master arranger Clive Bradley in Brooklyn, New York, getting ready for the 2001 New York Panorama competition, performing Shadow’s “Stranger.”


Web Posted - Saturday September 18, 2021
When Steel Talks

Earl Brooks, Jr. part of Dubai Expo 2020 line-up

Earl Brooks, Jr

Global - The steelpan will take centre stage at the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 carded to run from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

....“The whole world will be there virtual and in real. They expect about 25 million people to go through (the expo) over the next six months.


Web Posted - Thursday September 16, 2021
When Steel Talks - Reboot

‘Hideaway’ - Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra

arranger André White

Pan Evoultion Steel Orchestra

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Performing an André White-arrangement of the Tessanne Chin-hit ‘Hideaway,’ - Pan Evolution rocks the house at the 2017 Despers USA ‘A Night of Reggae and R&B’ panyard concert.


Web Posted - Tuesday September 14, 2021
When Steel Talks - Reboot

Looking back:  Mack Scott Pays Tribute to Sonatas’ Champion Arranger Ken “Professor” Philmore

“We had a gem, a star in the making, such love and passion for the pan”

Ken “Professor” Philmore
Ken “Professor” Philmore

Brooklyn, New York, USA - “Myself and a couple of friends were in Trinidad for Carnival in 1982 and we were told of this young man who played with Fonclaire and was very good, but they won’t give him a chance to arrange. At that time we were looking for someone to arrange for Sonatas, because we had won [New York] Panorama in ‘81 but had to get rid of that arranger because he got too greedy.

....“We met this young guy Ken Philmore, and he told us we have to come to his home and ask his parents which we did. I had to promise them that we would take good care of him; I told them not to worry he would be taken care of.”




Web Posted - Friday September 10, 2021
When Steel Talks - Reboot

Labor Day minus Labor Day

An Opinion - by Garvin Blake

Brooklyn, New York, USA - For most New Yorkers Labor Day signals the passing of Summer: back-to-school, early sunsets, dropping temperatures. However, for West Indians, the heat is on.

Frustrated masqueraders impatiently waiting to collect costumes. Steelbands scrambling to learn endings. Out-of-towners arriving in droves. Soca, kompa and reggae pumping everywhere. It’s fete after fete. The Brooklyn Museum grounds are transformed into an open-air theatre. Eastern Parkway becomes the scene of the largest street party in North America.


Web Posted - Friday September 10, 2021
When Steel Talks

Pan Movement For Innovation, Development and National Unity

Who is Robert Hernandez?

Trinidad & Tobago, WI - Born and raised in Success Village, Laventille, his early education was at the Ideal High School in Belmont before migrating to the US. Further studies included obtaining a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Management at City University of New York, and a MBA Degree in General Management at Dowling College, Long Island, New York. Additional studies included a Diploma in Executive Leadership at Duke University, Richmond, Virginia.

Successfully negotiated a ninety-nine (99) year lease with NP (National Petroleum) for Highlanders Steel Orchestra to acquire a Pan Yard Home on the Eastern Main Road in Success Village, Laventille. Following this, another successful negotiation resulted in Highlanders getting approval from the East Port of Spain Development Company to construct a modern Pan Theatre and Home Work/After School Centre in the newly acquired Pan Yard. Construction is currently underway and the facility is near completion. Under its current management and leadership, Highlanders was a finalist in the recent 2020 National Panorama Competition, placing 6th in the Small Band Category.

VOTE FOR EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP, INTEGRITY, TRANSPARENCY AND BUSINESS EXPERIENCE.


Web Posted - Thursday September 9, 2021
When Steel Talks - Reboot

J’Ouvert in Brooklyn, New York - Over the Years

Brooklyn, New York J'Ouvert 2009

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Highlights of steelbands, mas characters, and more.  The main stretch was along Empire Boulevard in Brooklyn, New York, during the annual early-morning festival.


Web Posted - Thursday September 9, 2021
When Steel Talks - Reboot

Who Give Them the Okay? — A Brooklyn J’Ouvert Story

An Opinion - by Garvin Blake

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Liming on the sidewalk, listening to pan with friends and strangers, some dancing, others ole talking, was a quasi-J’Ouvert, and a way to mobilize the band for the Labor Day Parade. Panmen like Kenneth “Colors” Serrano, Anthony “Big Tony” Joseph, Brian Joseph, Edgar Gamory, Junior “Man” Samuel, Earl “Dust” Noel, Clement Franklin, Wayne “Pappitts” Baptiste and his sister Carol, never went home, breaking the night dew to insure all the pans made it to Eastern Parkway safely...

After winning Panorama in 1990 with Clive Bradley’s arrangement of “Tell Me Why”, instead of going back to the panyard, which was now on Atlantic Avenue, Metro headed south down Washington Avenue and parked up on the corner of Woodruff and Flatbush Avenue. Around five o’clock Monday morning all the players made their way to the band...


Web Posted - Monday September 6, 2021
When Steel Talks

Meet Gregory Lindsay - Manager, Administrator, Panist - UpClose!

A When Steel Talks Exclusive

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “In my opinion, they are not represented as well as they ought to be. There is no Musician's Union in this Republic, even though there are prominent examples in other jurisdictions. Accordingly, players are always left hanging out to dry; then, orchestras - unsponsored single pan, to large [orchestras]. The buck stops at the office of the President of Pan Trinbago.” –– Gregory Lindsay

“Shut-up and play yur pan” is not part of his DNA.  Whether you love him or hate him - there is no doubt that he is one of ʽthe straws that stir the drink.’ Furthermore, he is clearly quite comfortable in all three classes of the republic - Workers, Warriors and/or Philosopher Kings.


Web Posted - Sunday September 5, 2021
When Steel Talks - Reboot

Sonatas Steel Orchestra - “In De Minor” - (‘Tempo’ version - Video)

Panyard Recording

Sonatas Steel Orchestra - 2014

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures Sonatas Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2014 New York steelband Panorama competition a couple of nights before the event. Sonatas Steel Orchestra performed a Leon Foster Thomas-arrangement of “In De Minor.” This is the ‘Tempo’ version.




Web Posted - Thursday September 2, 2021
When Steel Talks - Reboot

Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra - “Full Extreme” - (‘Cool Down’ version - Video)

Panyard Recording

Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra - 2017

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Another Basement Recordings production. Captured “live” at Pan Evolution’s East Flatbush, Brooklyn Pan Yard days before what was supposed to have been the New York 2017 Panorama competition. The selection is soca artist Voice’s “Full Extreme,” as arranged by André White. This is a “cool down” version.


Web Posted - Wednesday September 1, 2021
When Steel Talks - Feel the Music - Live the Experience - Reboot

The Finest Moment in New York Pan History - 2001 New York Panorama: “By Pan People - For Pan People”

Invaders/Ambassadors Steel Orchestra at the 2001 USSA New York Panorama
Invaders/Ambassadors Steel Orchestra at the 2001 USSA New York Panorama

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Undoubtedly the finest moment in New York steel orchestra Panorama history. The New York steelband community took their destiny into their own hands and momentarily discarded the shackles of WIADCA (West Indian American Day Carnival Association). Practicing a serious case of “FUBU” - (For Us By Us) - as every aspect of this Panorama was executed by the NY Pan community. The New York Times gives the figure of 20,000 people present at this event. In spite of untold obstacles the New York Pan community came together in a manner that has never been seen since, and pulled off demonstrating just what could be.




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