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“The Bradley Years”

The Bradley Years represent the definitive collection of steelband music arrangements and performances for a large steel orchestra. This collection showcases seven classic arrangements from the master arranger Clive Bradley.  Bradley is considered to be the best steelband music arranger ever by many, including his peers.  In addition, the arrangements are performed by one of the finest steelbands in the world, New York’s Pantonic Steel Orchestra. Clive Bradley had a very special relationship with Pantonic.  This orchestra clinched the title of panorama champions five times in seven years - performing Bradley’s musical works.  The performances were captured by Basement Recordings days before, and in one instance, mere moments before they took the stage for the prestigious annual steelband music panorama competition. 

The recordings capture, reproduce and present an unrivalled clarity with sonic realism, of a large steel orchestra fielding between one hundred and one hundred twenty musicians - unlike any other steelband music recordings in its class.

This body of musical work is a sterling addition for all fans, educators, players, historians and fine music collectors.
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Web Posted - Friday May 13, 2017
When Steel Talks

Clifford Alexis receives honorary doctorate from Northern Illinois University

Clifford Alexis

DeKalb, Illinois - Clifford Alexis receives honorary doctorate from Northern Illinois University (NIU) on May 13, 2017 for his accomplishments in the field of steelpan music art form at NIU.
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Web Posted - Thursday May 12, 2017
When Steel Talks

A Magical Experience - The Knights, Andy Akiho, Andre White and Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra make Much Music at the House of BRIC

Andy Akiho performs at BRIC, downtown Brooklyn

New York, USA - Recently while a significant portion of the global steelpan community was fully engaged with the happenings and grand performances of Trinidad and Tobago’s national Panorama competition—the greatest percussion event on earth and Super-Bowl of Pan—New Yorkers were treated to the artistic brilliance of two of the finest young composers/arrangers gracing the steelpan music art form today. When Steel Talks (WST) witnessed Andy Akiho and Andre White showcase and perform some of their musical genius live in collaboration with The Knights at BRIC’s Media House in downtown Brooklyn, New York.
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Web Posted - Wednesday May 11, 2017
Brent & Kilburn Times

 Steel band in Harlesden fight for survival as trustees dissolve charity

St Michael and All Angels Steel Orchestra (SMYP)

Harlesden, London, U.K. - Members of the St Michael’s Youth Project (SMYP), home to St Michael & All Angels Steel Orchestra, heard the charity was dissolving in a Sunday sermon address to parishioners on April 30.

Rev Ron Herbert, vicar of St Michael & All Angel in Hillside, Stonebridge, stepped down from the trust in January but continues to act as its treasurer.

He said: “I’m afraid I jumped the gun. I announced it before it happened and before I should have announced it, so I caused a problem unnecessarily. It has now been dissolved. I’m not going to say more at this point.”

The orchestra, which won best band at the Notting Hill carnival last year, was evicted from the church last October, where it has been based for 20 years.
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Web Posted - Thursday May 4, 2017
When Steel Talks

Meet Mika Yoshida 
Japan

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Mika Yoshida

Woman symbolJapan - “Pan has turned a new page in my life. Coming to Trinidad made a pretty big impact on my way of thinking and lifestyle...”

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - Mika Yoshida shares her personal journey and perspective on the global reach and influence of the Steel Pan instrument, its music, and the art form on bridging cultures and enhancing the human experience.
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Web Posted - Wednesday May 3, 2017
The Virgin Islands Consortium

 St. Croix Students’ Musical Talent On Display At Annual Steel Pan Expo

St. Croix Students’ Musical Talent On Display At Annual Steel Pan Expo

St. Croix, U.S.V.I. - Steel bands from public and parochial schools on St. Croix showcased their musical talents at the Department of Education Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education’s annual Steel Pan Exposition held April 22 at the Randall “Doc” James Racetrack.

Director of Cultural Education and event coordinator Valrica Bryson welcomed parents, students and supporters to the event and thanked the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation for allowing the event to be housed on the racetrack. The Steel Pan Expo has been traditionally held at the St. Croix Educational Complex.

St. Croix District Deputy Superintendent Faith Dane George-Boone served as mistress of ceremony and warmed the students up with a drumroll while introducing each school. The St. Mary’s Catholic School steel band, directed by Jessy Joseph, kicked opened the high-energy show, followed by the Lew Muckle Steel Orchestra, led by Noel Wynter.
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Web Posted - Sunday April 30, 2017
Northern Public Radio

 Longtime NIU Steelband Co-Director Bids Farewell At Tribute Concert

The Hon. Anthony Phillips-Spencer, Ambassador of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S., presents an award to Cliff Alexis at the tribute concert Sunday.

Illinois, USA - NIU held a tribute concert Sunday to honor Cliff Alexis, who joined the university’s school of music in 1985.

Alexis helped establish steelpan studies as a major at NIU.

He’s originally from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; it's where he started playing the steelpan at age 14.

“When I was young, most people gravitate toward the steel pan, especially coming from where I came from," he said. "I came from an underprivileged neighborhood, and that was one of the things to do.”

Alexis arranged, composed and co-directed the NIU Steelband with Al O'Connor and, later, Liam Teague. He will stay close to the university as a volunteer.

Alexis previously taught at St. Paul Public Schools for 12 years. He's performed worldwide and taken home numerous awards and distinctions, including the prestigious Minneapolis/St. Paul "Outstanding Black Musician" award.
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Web Posted - Sunday April 30, 2017
UANews

UA Steel Band Performance

Sunday, April 30, 2017 - 7:30 p.m.

Arizona, USA - The University of Arizona School of Music presents the UA Steel Band in concert. UA Steel Band is under the direction of Laura Marsh.

The program will contain traditional Trinidadian music as well as original works composed specifically for steel drum ensemble.

The UA Steel Band program has a rich history as one of the longest running collegiate programs in the country.
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Web Posted - Friday April 28, 2017
Huffington Post

Virtual Reality and Pan Collides in Trinidad and Tobago

 Pan Yard Inside PanJam

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - One of my earliest childhood memories growing up in Paradise St Andrew in Grenada was that of a “Pan Tent” just up the road from my house. I loved going there as a boy to listen to the men from my village play pan. Even today, during the festive carnival season, one of the events that always speak to me is Panorama. I love listening to the different songs being played on the pan; I can sit and listen for hours. Grenada has a strong pan history, but I think Trinidad and Tobago has an even richer history. This got taken to a whole new level when local Trinidadian company Dingole Limited launched a new virtual reality pan experience. Yes, you read correctly, the team at Dingole launched PanJam on April 5th with Tevin Shockness, a professional panist, passionately performing the National Anthem on the Virtual Steel Pan.
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Web Posted - Friday April 28, 2017
Trinidad and Tobago Guardian

Beautiful pan music in the East and West

Pan twin siblings Deja and Dejean Cain thrill their Newtown Playboyz audience

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Beautiful music was the common note which threaded entertainment activity last weekend, though the entertainment menu actually began the previous Wednesday when Q’s Place on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, was the venue for an evening of calypso and comedy.

.....Friday evening’s agenda began early when Western Credit Union (WESCU) hosted its 2017 prize-giving ceremony at its Fitt Street, Woodbrook, head office for winners in its first ever calypso, rapso and chutney competition which was held during the carnival season. A stone’s throw away, on Tragarete Road, Woodbrook, Modernaires Single Pan band was premiering its first Friday-evening, after-work production.

Two blocks away, the panyard of 2017 National Panorama (Single Pan) champion Newtown Playboyz was venue for Now is the Time—Music for Change, staged by Concerned Individuals for Pan [CIP].

....Among the attendees at this event were Muslimeen imam Yasin Abu Bakr, former Pan Trinbago vice president Byron Serrette and Pan Trinbago executive members Gerard Mendez and Earl Morris, as well as members of Friends of Pan Trinbago.

On Saturday, thousands made the trek along mountainous terrain to the Surrey Village Community Centre, via Lopinot Road, Arouca, where First Citizens Supernovas Steel Orchestra held A Day in Surrey, described by the band’s arranger Amrit Samaroo as “a culinary and musical feast.”
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Web Posted - Wednesday April 26, 2017
When Steel Talks

Jonathan Scales - To the Orient and Back - UpClose!

Jonathan Scales in China

Global - When Steel Talks spoke to composer, panist and performing artist Jonathan Scales just before he began his month-long tour of Asia with his group Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. In speaking about the then-upcoming tour Jonathan said "there will be a lot of collaborating with the local musicians over there and a lot of workshops and clinics for students, in addition to us just doing our show." In realty there was much, much more.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra captured the imagination and hearts of the people of the Orient. And in return the group lived a fascinating and profound experience that will be with them for a lifetime.

In this follow-up interview with Jonathan, When Steel Talks (WST) takes an in-depth look at the travel, the man, his music and his pan.
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Web Posted - Wednesday April 26, 2017
When Steel Talks

Jazz Beat and Pan Explosion make a comeback to this year’s WeBeat St. James Live 2017

WeBeat

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Jazz Beat and Pan Explosion make a comeback to this year’s WeBeat - St. James Live 2017.

....This year’s edition is in tribute to its founding member and first President, Earl Ronald Crosby, who passed away in August 2016.

Though still in negotiations with several sponsors, the St. James Community Improvement Committee (CIC) is committed to staging the Festival which runs from June 4th and 6th through 10th June at the St. James Amphitheatre on Western Main Road, St. James.
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Web Posted - Tuesday April 25, 2017
When Steel Talks

Don’t blame Diaz. Drink a beer syndrome determines our president

The President of Pan Trinbago and A Beer

Global - The time for change in Pan Trinbago’s executive is now. However, this change should not go without a change in the thinking of band leaders. The unprecedented debt; allegations of corruption and mismanagement; the lack of trust by government towards the executive and the poor management of Panorama 2017, hangs like a dark cloud over Pan Trinbago.
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Web Posted - Monday April 24, 2017
When Steel Talks

Meet Tamaki Hagihara 
Japan

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Tamaki Hagihara

Woman symbolJapan - “...I hope to be of help for the music culture of Trinidad and Tobago as it has been my inspiration throughout my career.”

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - Japanese panist Tamaki Hagihara shares her personal journey and perspective on the global reach and influence of the Steel Pan instrument, its music, and the art form in cultivating an environment for change.
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Web Posted - Saturday April 22, 2017
When Steel Talks

Meet Christine Law
Wonderland Steel Band - (1965 - 1967) Trinidad

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Wonderland Steel Band with Christine Law - 1965

Woman symbolTrinidad & Tobago, W.I. - On Panorama Christine says it is -- “An incredible explosion of musical energy and THE SOUND of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Christine Law is now 81 years of age. She was in her early 30s when she led the Wonderland Steel Band in Chaguanas, central Trinidad. She recalls her time in Trinidad and Tobago with the fondest of memories. Her most moving memory is of the whole of the Wonderland band turning up to play for them as they boarded their boat to leave Trinidad for the final time in 1967. Everyone was in tears!

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - Christine Law, musical director for Wonderland Steel Band from 1965 - 1967 shares her personal journey and memories with Pan.
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Web Posted - Friday April 21, 2017
Sweet Briar College

Uniting Skiffle: Two cultures come together through music

“When practicing with [Skiffle], my playing is more relaxed, which helps me to articulate the notes better,” says Brea Marshall ’17 (center) of Sweet Briar’s Skiffle USA.

Virginia, USA - ....There was a lot happening at Sweet Briar College last week, especially musically. Nineteen core members of Trinidad’s renowned Skiffle Steel Orchestra and their leader, Junia Regrello, came to campus to teach, perform with and get to know their U.S. counterparts. Sweet Briar is home to Skiffle USA, the only international branch of any major steel orchestra in Trinidad based at a college or university.

The visit, which took place April 9-16, is part of an ongoing collaboration between Regrello and Skiffle USA founder and leader Jeff Jones. An associate professor and musicologist, Jones established the Sweet Briar branch in 2013 to create ways for his students to learn “intercultural competencies.” This was Skiffle’s second weeklong visit to campus; the first happened in 2014.
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Web Posted - Friday April 21, 2017
When Steel Talks

Van Dyke Parks on Mighty Sparrow and The Esso Trinidad Steel Band

Esso Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band

Global - “When I saw the Esso Trinidad Steel band, I saw myself in a Trojan Horse,” he says. “We were going to expose the oil industry. That’s what my agenda was. I felt it was absolutely essential.” From 1970 to 1975, Parks waged awareness of environmental and race matters through the music and culture of the West Indies, though in the end, “You don’t know whether to laugh or cry. That’s what makes Van Gogh go,” he says, “That’s what great art does.” Though Parks is referring directly to Esso Trinidad’s happy/sad steel drum sounds, he could just as easily be talking about his own experience during what we’ll dub the Calypso Years.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday April 19, 2017
When Steel Talks

Meet Gayle Wilmot
Toronto, Canada

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Gayle Wilmot

Woman symbolToronto, Canada - “....Having been around the Caribana festival in Toronto for years, I thought I knew a bit of the culture and art form. But there is nothing like actually trying to master the instrument, with all of the language and conventions that go along with it, to truly understand the steel pan culture. It has a unique, very energetic, loving and connected community.”

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - former businesswoman Gayle Wilmot shares her personal journey and passion for the Steel Pan instrument, its music, and the art form in cultivating an environment for change.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday April 19, 2017
NIU Today

 NIU to honor Cliff Alexis—‘the Stradivarius of the steelpan’

Cliff Alexis - NIU

Illinois, USA - NIU’s Cliff Alexis is retiring, and he’s going out on a high note.

The longtime co-director of the world-renowned NIU Steelband – and master of the art of building steel drums – will be feted during a concert in his honor beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 30, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, Alexis will be presented with an honorary doctoral degree during the NIU Graduate School commencement ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, at the NIU Convocation Center.

Friends and dignitaries from around the world will be in attendance for the Steelband concert, including the Honorable Anthony Phillips-Spencer, ambassador from Alexis’ native Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, where the steelpan was invented and remains the national instrument.

“It is not an exaggeration to state that Mr. Alexis is the Stradivarius of the steelpan,” said Paul Kassel, dean of the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts. “His instruments are each a masterwork, and his skill has moved the instrument from its rough and homemade origins to a musically nuanced and finely tuned piece of craftsmanship.”
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday April 19, 2017
When Steel Talks

Meet Nanae “Nana” Matsumura
Japan

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Nanae “Nana” Matsumura

Woman symbolJapan - “Steel pan is beautiful and fun! Also powerful and intense. I never lose interest. Players can have fun playing music, dance as they enjoy their performance. The joy of seeing the audience listen to music, dance and sing… whilst the bands perform also gives me joy and energy to want to play even more. Panorama is amazing! So many people practice for just the one night; it’s really amazing and rewarding when the lights hit me on that big stage.”

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - Nanae “Nana” Matsumura shares her unconditional love for Pan culture, music and the art form. In addition she speaks on her worldly experiences with Pan in Trinidad, New York, Toronto and her native Japan.
read more


Web Posted - Monday April 17, 2017
Ouachita Baptist University

Ouachita to host Tiger Steel percussion concert May 1

Tiger Steel

Arkansas, USA - Ouachita Baptist University will host Tiger Steel, the university’s steel drum ensemble, in concert in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall on Monday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

“Steel band music makes people smile, which is one of the most powerful reasons to perform music,” said Dr. Ryan Lewis, OBU associate professor of music and director of the ensemble.

“This concert is unique because it will include a musical telling of the story of the steel pan, featuring projected images and information given by two Tiger Steel members who have researched the instrument with me, Dillon Thomas and Aaron Breeding,” Lewis added. “People should come to relax and enjoy some terrific music that will take them to the tropics!”
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Web Posted - Sunday April 16, 2017
When Steel Talks

Meet Darrielle Mylan-Charles
Trinidad & Tobago

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Darielle Mylan-Charles

Woman symbolTrinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “Compared to the past and what I’ve learnt, the sexism aspect of playing the steelpan and it being considered a “man’s thing” has been mostly if not completely non-existent. We see more women playing the steelpan and being treated as another other player in recent times.”

She is a scholar with a plan and a mission. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - panist Darrielle Mylan-Charles shares her personal journey and future musical expectations.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday April 13, 2017
When Steel Talks

Meet Marina Marfan
Tobago

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Marina Marfan

Woman symbolTrinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “Many times people have commented and told me that I seem to have a glow or a sparkling aura when they see me play the Steel pan instrument. At times I can be lost in my own little world once I start to play or practice on the steel-pan; it may be minutes to hours. The instrument gives me a drive and energy: no matter how tired I may be I always can find the vigour to play.”

She is driven, ultra-focused and immensely talented. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - musician, arranger, and panist Marina Marfan shares her personal journey and passion for the Steel Pan instrument, its culture, and the art form.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday April 13, 2017
When Steel Talks

Pan Clash Jam Sunday
First Sunday of the month from April through September 2017

Pan Clash

London, U.K. - Pan Clash Jam Sunday was even better than the organisers from Steel Pan Trust expected on Sunday 3rd April at The Tabernacle W11. The love and unity of pan players coming together to Jam on a Sunday was phenomenal!

This event is a part of Pan Clash, the annual Soloist Competition for young people that has taken place in October since 2007. This year it is celebrating its 10th year - and is an event endorsed by the British MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards since 2012.

The Director of the Steel Pan Trust Charity, Shareen Gray said, “I have been considering this event for a number of years. The idea was that pan players could come together and have a casual platform to jam and play pan together; like a pan-gym workout....”
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Web Posted - Tuesday April 11, 2017
When Steel Talks

Meet Alegbe Temidayo
Nigeria

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Alegbe Temidayo

Woman symbolNigeria - “I have been most proud of my intellectual life as it relates to pan because playing the pan has helped in grooming my mental capacity.”

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - panist Alegbe Temidayo shares her personal experience and perspective on Pan in Nigeria.
read more



Web Posted
When Steel Talks

WST Steelband Panorama 2017 logo
2017 Trinidad & Tobago Panorama Review - the Good, Bad and Ugly

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The 2017 Trinidad and Tobago Panorama season—and by extension the Carnival season—was a tumultuous one that was overflowing with enough drama, intrigue, passion and controversy to field a season of Scandal, Empire or Game of Thrones. But in the end there was the music. An abundance of great music created by the finest arrangers, and outstanding performances delivered by the best steel orchestras in the world.

Two songs captured the imagination of Trinidad and Tobago for this 2017 Panorama and Carnival season - “Full Extreme” by Ultimate Rejects and “Good Morning” by Peter Ram. In fact, “Good Morning” became sort of the de-facto “test piece” as no other tune of choice has endeared itself to the steel orchestras as much in recent times. However, on closer inspection Bunji Garlin & Machel Montano’s “Buss Head” or Crazy’s “Gee Gee Ree” would be apropos to telling the complete Panorama season’s story.
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Web Posted
When Steel Talks

Early Trinidad and Tobago Steelbands Names Associated with Hollywood Movies

history

Global - Within the historical context, a look at the impact of American movies on the naming of early steelbands of Trinidad and Tobago.
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Web Posted
When Steel Talks

WST Steelband Panorama 2017 logo
 Complete Summary of Results of all Conventional Steel Orchestras - 2017 Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - At a glance and on a single page, access the comprehensive summary of results for the Small, Medium and Large conventional steel orchestras participating in their respective categories in the 2017 Panorama.

Follow the musical journey of respective bands through all three phases - preliminaries, semi-finals and finals through data on band info, scores, tunes of choice and arrangers.
access full summary here


WST Steelband Panorama 2017 logo

 Tunes of Choice - Trinidad & Tobago Steelband Panorama 2017

Tunes of Choice for Steelband Panorama 2017

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - A unique playlist featuring only the music selected as Tunes of Choice for the Trinidad and Tobago 2017 Steelband Panorama and Carnival.
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Web Posted
When Steel Talks

Upcoming

Great Steelpan Events

Global  - Upcoming Steelpan music events from all over the world
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Web Posted
When Steel Talks - Special

Champion Panorama Tunes of Trinidad and Tobago

Panorama Champion TunesGlobal - A critical component to winning any panorama competition is the song the orchestras choose to use as the basis of their panorama arrangements. Over the years these songs have inspired classic panorama arrangements. When Steel Talks invites you to take a look at and listen to, these famed tunes which have played more than just a cursory part in the history of Pan, and the lives of the players and fans.
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