A pan play to die for

Last weekend, it was truly “pantastic”.

Arguably one of the most highly anticipated weekends on the Crop Over calendar, the pan weekend attracted record numbers at their events from Friday right through to the climax on Sunday.

The weekend of sweet pan music began with Pan Fusion, held under the patronage of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, at his official residence Ilaro Court. Hundreds packed the grounds, which were filled with the rhythmic sounds of steel. And, despite intermittent showers, patrons thoroughly enjoyed the show, even sticking around for the Pantasy After-Party.

The Ilaro Court show, which was billed as The Battle Of The Sexes, featured performances by the Women
From Venus
, including Iman Pascall and Kabilah Delgado from the United States, as well the Men From Mars who included Elan Trotman and Kareem Thompson.

Trotman also paid special tribute to saxophonist Arturo Tappin, the man he described as his mentor, and who was credited for coming up with the theme of the night’s show.

Man Of Earth David ZigE Walcott and his band brought the house down. ZigE, who showed off his many skills on the steel pan, was the main crowd-pleaser.

ZigE, on pan, playing with the Men From Mars.
ZigE, on pan, playing
with the Men From Mars.

The after-party featured Farmer Nappy from the twin island republic Trinidad and Tobago, as well as local veteran Mr Blood, who were backed by the Karibbean Kentic Band.

The sweet steel then headed north on Saturday to Speightstown Market & Pan Around De Town. Cloudy skies could not deter locals nor visitors.

Patrons were treated to the sounds of the tuk band and performances from the St Thomas Community Dancers, as well as contestants from the Junior Calypso Monarch Competition.

Participants in the National Cultural Foundation’s painting workshop En Plen Air (Open Air) also got to showcase their work at the Speightstown Esplanade.

Billed as a family affair, Speightstown Market & Pan Around De Town was a welcome addition to the Crop Over calendar, vendors acknowledging the one-day event had helped to boost business in the historic town.

And, pan lovers couldn’t have asked for a better climax than Sunday’s Pan Pun De Sand. They recorded well over 9,000 of themselves packing Brandons Beach. Not even the interrupting rain could dampen their spirits.

In fact, many took to the scattered showers, as they saw the rain making the day cooler than usual for the affair dubbed S4 

–– Sweet, Steel, Sand And Soca.

Patrons, from those who lined the Spring Garden Highway to those who opted to chill by seashore, soaked up the pan notes and rhythms of Ace Works, Choices, Pan Groove, Reddy Panners and Pan Extreme in the earlier hours.

Choice Pan Groove.
Choice Pan Groove.
Reddy Panners at Pan Pun De Sand.
Reddy Panners at Pan Pun De Sand.

Later would come Massy All Stars from Trinidad and Tobago, and Mosaic Steel Orchestra from Barbados. These two large bands did not disappoint. Mosaic thoroughly impressed with their versatility and energy onstage.

Guest artiste Lil Rick, who sang with Mosaic, praised them, saying “this band bad” –– after going through a flawless performance without a rehearsal.

Other singers on the night were Grynner and Mikey from Soka Kartel.

Overall, it was indeed a pantastic weekend, and patrons were thoroughly satisfied. Here, BT takes a look back at some of the weekend pan scenes. (DB/KK)

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