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Pan in crisis in its native land

Friday, August 18, 2017
Triumphant 2017 National Panorama (Large) champion Massy Trinidad All Stars.

There will be no Republic Panorama competition on September 22 as previously announced. In the works since after this year’s carnival, the show was supposed to be staged by the Northern Region of Pan Trinbago as a tribute to the Mighty Sparrow.

Yesterday, Northern Region chairman Gerard Mendez told Pulse: “It seems that the Northern Region is haunted by the negative label attached to the central executive of Pan Trinbago.

“It is with deep regret and utter disappointment the Northern Region of Pan Trinbago is left with no alternative but to cancel the Republicrama—Tribute to the Mighty Sparrow. Notwithstanding all the verbal approvals, in particular from the NCC, none were met with written confirmation.

“As recently as a meeting which was held last Monday between ourselves and the NCC, they acknowledged receipt of our written application to them since March 2017 and up to last Monday we were still awaiting written confirmation that we would get the premises for the competition, the Grand Stand at the Queen’s Park Savannah. This is not the manner in which business is run.”

Mendez continued: “We also made written applications to the Ministry of Culture and, while we also got no written response from the ministry, we were told that 50 per cent of the money we had applied for was approved. We also applied to the NLCB whose officials verbally consented to us that they would offer some kind of assistance. One Caribbean Media, another corporate body we applied to, offered to market and promote the event and we must say a special thanks to One Caribbean CEO Dawn Thomas and marketing manager Marcus Chin Aleong.

“The Northern Region would also like to thank the steelbands who came on board and indicated their willingness to participate. We want them to know that we have not completely given up on the idea; in fact we have secured the date of September 22, 2018, to stage this competition, as a tribute to Len “Boogsie” Sharpe.

Mendez promised: “We shall not be bowed as we are determined to bring dignity and respect to the national instrument and all pan musicians. We shall proceed undaunted.”

Efforts to call NCC chairman Kenny De Silva proved futile.


Come Saturday, August 26, the Woodbrook/St James Community Association will stage Pan on d’Avenue, along Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook. Registered in 2011 as a non-profit community-based organisation, the Association first staged Pan on d’Avenue in 2012 and since then the event has mushroomed to become one of the most eagerly anticipated steelband events, at home and abroad.

Each year, the Association pays tribute to stalwarts of T&T’s performing arts, including pan musicians, tuners, arranger, technicians, mas people and calypsonians.

The impressive list of personalities previously honoured includes mas personalities Colin Edghill and Kay Christopher, pan icon Anthony Williams, Grammy Award-winning percussionist the late Ralph Mac Donald, reverred National Calypso Monarch Black Stalin, Antonio Nadur and the late Asami Nagakiya. This year the Association will pay tribute to late, iconic carnival costume designer/ craftsman Stephen Derek.

The Association is chaired by Cleveland Garcia and within its fold are Carl “Beaver” Henderson, Allima and Saieed A. Garcia, Margaret Ellis, David Clayton Archer, Wayne Rajnauth, Ashwyn Correia and Sheldon Lloyd.

The parade runs between Taylor and Colville Streets and, in addition to a stationary steelband which performs at the review stand at Adam Smith Square, also includes traditional Carnival characters.


Now 82-years-old, the fire still burns in the bosom of the Mighty Sparrow to continue composing calypsoes, this time turning his sights on the troubling geopolitical impasse between US president Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jung-un.

From his New York flat, the Birdie has extended his extensive collection of calypsoes with half-dozen songs including NKT (North Korea & Trump) and Tyrant, a scathing political commentary on US president Donald Trump. As recent as last Tuesday Sparrow had already completed ten verses for NKT.

Having departed Trinidad after this year’s carnival to continue medial treatment with his doctors in New York, Sparrow has been selective in which shows he is contracted to perform at. He said this week: “I continue to perform. Unfortunately, I recently had to cancel out a London tour as that jaunt would have been too demanding. At my age I cannot do that. The same Saturday as the London show I did a show in New York.” Sparrow added that he now does shows that are nearby in New York and could travel as far as Miami to perform.

About when next he might be contracted to perform on a local stage the Calypso King of the World said: “I am willing to perform, once a promoter hires me and sends me a ticket.”

Sparrow says he is “over the moon” with T&T winning Sunday’s Men’s 4x400 metre relay at the World Athletics Championships in London. “Our boys mash up the place,” said Sparrow, “and you should have seen the big smile on my face. When I first heard about the youngster Jereem Richards winning the bronze I was happy, but
now I am ecstatic. I am so happy for our youngsters.

With a chuckle he added: “I wish I was young so to give them some competition. Who knows there might be another stadium coming in honour of our 4x400 metre champions.”

Sparrow also extended birthday greetings to Winsford “Joker” Devine, one of his composers, who was celebrating a birthday last Tuesday.


North Korea seeking war, like never done before
It wouldn’t be a trillion but maybe a million people could die in this massacre
So stoop the rhetoric and be realistic
Investigators talking about campaign tricks
When come to Muller he digging much further to catch any crooked pup who wouldn’t grow up
Serious confrontation with this administration
From Russian adoption now to nuclear option I prefer a peaceful solution
As head of state please negotiate
We don’t want catastrophic war to contemplate So tell the Korean behave don’t carry on Cause in the end will be their complete obliteration
Kim Jung-un listen please Guam is a gentle breeze But if you shoud bomb them you buying big problem
Think about that quick or say amen Impropriety and your idiosycracy Executing people, your very own family Now fire and fury, like the world has never seen that’s what you up against now and it will be
A nuclear bomb exchange will be a monster binge Monster rhetoric, so histrionic danger and disaster in that range Guam is part of US and Japan is so precious One of our allies to defend no fuss Then the California way, we protecting come what may
Heaven help you, we go belt you
The US don’t play.



  •  Pan Elders
  •  NGC Couva Joylanders
  •  Southern Marines
  •  Tropical Angel Harps
  •  Skiffle Bunch


  • First Citizens Supernovas
  • Republic Bank Exodus
  • Arima Angel Harps
  • Sangre Grande Cordettes
  • Curepe Scherzando


  • Massy Trinidad All Stars
  • Desperadoes
  • bpTT Renegades
  • Phase II in collaboration with Hadco
  • PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars
  • CAL Invaders
  • MHTL Starlift
  • Brimblers
  • Harvard Harps
  • Defence Force Steel Ensemble
  • Newtown Playboys
  • Western Stars Philharmonic
  • Pandemonium
  • Blue Diamonds
  • St James Tripolians
  • Laventille Road Police Youth Club


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