Members of the public were treated to a steel pan ‘blockorama’ concert at Camana Bay on Wednesday night, 12 November.
The show was based on the street party model that is familiar in destinations like Canada and Trinidad and can also be observed during street dances at Pirates Week.
Steel pan impresario Earl La Pierre said the occasion was particularly special because, ‘This is the first time so many steel pan companies have come together for such an event.’
Participating bands included the Panoramers, the Pandemics, Pandemonium and the Earl La Pierre family.
With over 70 pan players and at least 150 drums, the event, which was free of charge, drew spectators from near and far with the hypnotic rhythms of the Caribbean.
Mr. La Pierre said the evening was also an opportunity for the steel pan fraternity to raise funds via sales of t-shirts and food.
He added that these proceeds could be used for tuning of the instruments, which is quite a complex task that requires a specialist being brought in from Trinidad to tune all drums on the Islands, including those used in the schools.
With regard to the progression of steel pan playing in the Cayman Islands, Mr. La Pierre said, ‘The reason why there is always such a young demographic involved with steel pan is because they are exposed to the art form in school.
‘However, once they leave school there is really nowhere for them to exercise their abilities and as a result, many of them stop playing as they get older.’
Mr. La Pierre said there was not much work for steel pans but he was confident this would change as the groups take the initiative to generate public exposure.
‘I think this is good for places like the hotels and the airport because it’s so Caribbean, the flavour is undeniable,’ said Mr. La Pierre.
Forming a steel pan association under the umbrella of the Cayman Music and Entertainment Association is another step that Mr. La Pierre hopes to take in the near future.
He can be seen performing at Camana Bay every Wednesday evening.