May 6, 2024
By Knolly Moses

Godwin Bowen pumped up Pamberi when he joined those talented San Juan panmen. Together, they brought new energy from the East, the way the late Earl Rodney and Solo Harmonites did decades earlier. Bowen’s arrangements gave Panorama a fresh vibe. His music was expansive and held huge promise. His melodies were emotionally charged and often nuanced. Pan lovers knew early he was a gifted arranger, and, later, composer.

Bowen came to Panorama with a bold spirit, a…

February 26, 2024
By Knolly Moses

We heard some decent music at Panorama 2024, as we should expect from the top steel bands. Most arrangers are clearly trying to explore new ideas, and their choice of tunes from different periods gave the competition a nice vibe. Others stuck tight to formulaic renditions that couldn’t stir the North Stand, or anyone else.

What we can say, however reluctantly, is this wasn’t a memorable Panorama. Yeah, we know. That’s a bit sacrilegious. But no music stood out. Nothing got everyone on their feet, a sure…

January 22, 2024
By Knolly Moses

The Junior Panorama now seems to invite more enthusiasm than the bigger pan competitions. Parents and supporters pack the stands, and elsewhere, to see these youngsters show off their musical skills. This year, the crowds were even larger than usual.

Nineteen primary schools competed at the Queen’s Park Savannah. In the…

December 22, 2023
By Knolly Moses

Roadblock Steel is an music ensemble with a proud mission: its members want to share Trinidad & Tobago’s culture with the world. Already, the group of young musicians have toured West Africa, visiting Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. They have performed at the Miami Panorama (2022) and at the iconic Barclays Centre in New York at a WNBA game.

But they still crave wider public recognition at home. Having come only as high as eight in the small bands Panorama competition may be one reason their…