After some 22 years one can safely say that the annual Parang and Steel dinner-concert-dance series presented by the Silver Stars Steel Orchestra is a true Trinidad Christmas tradition. People, especially supporters of the band, look forward to the event with anticipation and many attend all four shows during the month of December.
This year's opening of the series was no exception as the Tragarete Road, Woodbrook panyard, was packed on Saturday night.
Not even the rains that threatened to come seemed to dampen the spirits of the patrons who were focused on the business of eating, drinking and dancing the night away to the music of the Silver Stars, Kenny J, the Viva Nueva Parang Group and DJ Remixx.
Kenny J got patrons up and dancing when he performed his hit parang soca songs of the past couple decades. The smooth-voiced calypsonian sang favourites such as, "The Paintbrush," "Alexander," "Hush Yuh Mouth," "Cork In Her Hand" and "Discount".
The audience was also treated to a performance of Kenny J's offering for Carnival 2013, which is a nice mid-tempo song titled, "Jam Up To Meh." Kenny J told the Express that he has also released a song for the pan titled, "Panorama Jean," which he is looking forward to hearing steelbands play for the National Panorama Championship next year.
Viva Nueva performed two sets, opening their first with an original composition of the band's titled, "La Nochebuena," which was followed by another piece from them titled, "Celebramos A Jesus." They followed with "Brisas Del Zulia," "Mi Negrito," "Moliendo Café," "Guanaguanare" and a medley of parang standards.
In their second appearance of the night, the group that won this year's National Parang Association's Instrumental Competition—as well as the awards for Best Flute, Best Mandolin and Best Maracas in the final—started with, "Pajara Campana," following with "La Historia," "Bolero," "La Paranda Fina," "Que Venga," "Ah Trini," a medley of Daisy Voisin songs and "Rio Manzanare".
The Silver Stars Steel Orchestra performed a mix of local Christmas songs and classic foreign carols under the direction of Edwin Pouchet.
Of course the food was a focus and patrons enjoyed along with a fully-stocked bar offering premium alcohol, fruit juices and delights such as pastelles, geera pork, corn soup and more.
The Parang and Steel series continues:
Saturday December 8: PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars, Denyse Plummer, parang group to be confirmed.
Saturday December 15: PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars, Baron, Fuego Caribeno.
Saturday December 22: PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars, Crazy, Fuego Caribeno.