The sounds of the steelpan will resonate in St. James over the next couple of days during the annual WeBeat festival in St. James.
Come Sunday June 09, three (3) of the original St. James steelbands, Scrunters Pan Groove, St. James Tripolians and Power Stars, will come together under the banner “Small But Large”, at the St. James Park & Amphitheatre, Western Main Road, St. James, from 6:30pm.
The free concert, “Small But Large”, is an initiative of Keith Simpson, Manager of St. James Tripolians, who decided to stage this event as a gift to the people of St. James and also in the memory of Earl Crosby, first President of the St. James CIC and Chairman of the WeBeat St. James Live Committee.
Simpson added: “We may be considered Small Bands but we are large in our hearts and conviction to ensure (steel) pan remains alive. Although each of the bands is unsponsored, all costs related to the event are being borne by the respective bands. Special thanks go out to Alexis Hope, manager of Scrunter’s Pan Groove and Gregory Lindsay, manager of Power Stars, for their support.” Power Stars, was last year’s recepient of the St. James Committee WeBeat 2018 award.
The other steelpan related activity is the second edition of the popular “Five A Side” Steelband competition. This event takes place on Thursday June 13, at the same venue. Starting time is 8:00pm. Cover charge is $150.
The competition was initially staged in 2006 under producer Alvin Daniell with nine (9) finalists including Starlift Junior Band, Siparia Deltones, St. James Tripolians, Scrunter’s Pan Groove and Codrington Pan Family who emerged winner.
This year’s competition minus the skit is sponsored by TSTT/bmobile and endorsed by Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C. is produced by Keith Simpson, Pan Trinbago Trustee, and is open to both Single Pan Bands and Conventional Bands.
As the title suggests, bands will be limited to five (5) players who must be stage side members of the participating bands which are financial members of Pan Trinbago. Bands must perform a song/tune composed by the Dr. Winston Bailey, aka The Shadow and not longer than five (5) minutes in duration.
Fifteen (15) bands have been invited to participate. Prizes will be awarded to the first five (5) bands, the others will be paid an appearance fee. Registration continues daily until June 10.
The last of the steelpan activity is the Parade along the Western Main Road, St. James, on Saturday June 15, from 7:00 pm.