The Skiffle steelband orchestra at a performance last year at the Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, with Calypso icon Black Stalin. Photo by TREVOR WATSON

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Skiffle Celebrates 20

...to hold concert this weekend

By Sue-Ann Wayow

FROM practicing under a streetlight in Vistabella to owning an $8 million dollar property in the heart of San Fernando, Skiffle steelband group has much to celebrate.
It is for this reason, a grand concert is planned for this Saturday at the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA) South Campus as the group celebrates 20 years of existence.
The concert that begins at 8 p.m. will feature 24 items played by the band.
Founder and captain of the team, Junia Regrello said " persons will not be disappointed."
But don't expect to hear any soca tunes. Regrello said, "You could only have so much of soca."
In 1991, Skiffle received the Hummingbird National Award -Silver .Skiffle in 2000 won the World Steelband's Music Festival and in 2004 placed second.
The band have travelled extensively touring over 28 countries and have recorded their own CD entitled "Skiffle and Stalin live at Naparima Bowl."
The band, originally formed in South have its headquarters at Coffee Street in San Fernando.
Regrello said the band started squatting on that spot in 1994 and in 1997, they were able to purchase the land.
He said he felt proud about the band's accomplishment." If you are nurturing something from inception and you get this type of reward, you would feel proud about it."
Skiffle panyard was not just an ordinary panyward Regrello said.
"When I drive around San Fernando, I see young people standing around doing nothing.We have no community centre in San Fernando persay so the panyard becomes the institution where young people get the opportunity to get life skills. The panyard is not just a panyard education centre but it builds character."
He said more commitment was needed.
"San Fernando is the mother of the arts. Many of the people who are making it big in the industry are from South. But now it is really about money.But the arts should not be about that.This is hard work and you have to be committed to it.You need that profound sense of commitment in young people. "
Regrello also thanked Skiffle's sponsor Junior Sammy Group of Companies for assisting.
The tickets for the show are being sold at $200. Anyone wanting further information can call 657-3733.
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