Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sweet pan floods the streets for Emancipation

Fun and freedom in Laventille


RHYTHM: Solo Harmonites performing. —Photos: GARY CARDINEZ

Mark Fraser

The Eastern Main Road, Laventille was over flowing with pan music lovers and other good folk as they came out to be a part of the Laventille Steelband Festival Foundation’s (LSFF) Emancipation Steelband Street Parade last Sunday. 

This was the 16th edition of the event and thousands came out to show that they are “Proud to be Laventille”. Some of the top steel orchestras in the country paraded along the main road giving onlookers a taste of their musical repertoire.

The melting pot in what is considered to be a crime hot spot saw people greeting and welcoming each other sharing drinks and food like the last time they met was a year ago for the same pan parade. There was truly a sense of pride about the entire affair.

 The protective forces were out in their numbers but they did not have to be burdened with any extra duties. Their presence was all that was needed and once again the Laventille Emancipation Steelband Street Parade came off without any incidents.

Chairman Michael Cooper and his team from the LSFF are thankful and satisfied that they were able to pull off the event despite the lack of corporate support and the absence of their vice-chairman Julien “Vice” Cudjoe.

The buzz of the evening was WITCO Desperadoes along with the  youths from their current annual Pan Camp with their fantastic rendition of ‘Watch out My Children’. People were talking about the excellence of that rendition long after the Desperadoes had completed their set.

Another band comprising mainly youths to touch the souls of the audience was Music Stars from Chinapoo, Morvant. No player seem to be more than 12 years old yet their performance of Destra’s ‘Celebrate’ and Wayne Rodriguez’s ‘Footsteps’ had supporters and onlookers alike giving them a massive round of applause.

Once again bp Renegades were the show-stoppers with their performance of Nelson’s ‘All Ah We is One Family’ and a Kitchener medley which included ‘The Carnival is Over’ and ‘Rainorama’.

Republic Band Exodus also had people dancing in the street to Merchant’s ‘Umbayo’. Other good performances came from Solo Harmonites (Sealed with a Kiss), Old Tech (Bun Dem), Uni Stars (Big People Party), CAL Invaders (This Melody Sweet) and Nostrand Symphony (Steelband Clash).

Also taking part in the parade were Massy Trinidad All Stars, Courts Sound Specialist of Laventille, Harlem Syncopators, Sea Lots One Love, Tripolians, Pan Elders, Blue Diamonds, San Juan East Side, Laventille Road Police Youth Club, Laventille Rhythm Section, Rhythm Riders Rhythm Section and a tamboo bamboo band.