STEEL PAN FEVER will reach the hearts of pan-loving patrons from
June 2 to 4 2006 when Astrology Promotions present the eighth annual
Barbados Pan Festival.
The festival's second Caribbean Seven-a-Side Steel Pan Competition
on June 3 will pulsate with the rhythms of nine ensembles from across
Bringing that night to a close will be the "after party"
music by Cable & Wireless Diamond Steel Orchestra, reigning
Panorama champions of St Lucia.
The following night, Sunday, June 4, will be called 96% Bajan Pan
Concert featuring top Bajan acts Aja with a fusion of poetry and
steel, Red Plastic Bag with calypso and steel, Pan Extreme Steel
Ensemble, Omele Inc. Ensemble (featuring Wayne Willock) with tuk
and steel, and a guest performance from TCL Skiffle Bunch Steel
Orchestra of Trinidad.
The venues are still unnamed, but festival producer
Mike Murray told MIDWEEK ENTERTAINMENT: "The Caribbean seven-a-side
competition will see BWEE Invaders Steel Orchestra (Trinidad) defending
the title against groups like TCL Skiffle Bunch (Trinidad), C &W
Diamond Steel (St Lucia), NCB Angel Harps (Grenada), C &W Starlift
(St Vincent), and for the first time a steel orchestra from Guyana
by the name of Park Side Steel Band."
"Since the inception of this event, we have organised
many workshops and matinee concerts for both primary and secondary schools.
Our workshops have made available to our youth some
of the biggest names in the pan world," he added.
This year, Skiffle Bunch and the National Cultural Foundation
will also conduct a workshop for students on June 2 as part of the festival's
"ongoing effort toward promoting musical interest among the youth
and the vision for a national schools' steel orchestra."
Skiffle Bunch, in association with the Barbados Pan Festival
and the NCF, will also be recruiting five Barbadian pan players to play
with that band for next year's Panorama in Trinidad.
Applauding this development, Murray said: Exactly what
is needed is the formation of strategic alliances among industry players.
Pan as a creative industry can enhance the tourism product and assist
in terms of employment."
He also praised last year's sponsors, the Barbados Tourism
Authority, which promoted the festival on 21 radio stations in seven territories.