The Cayman Islands are front and
centre this month as Pandemix, the University College of the Cayman Islands’
Cayman National Steel Band, hits the international stage at the largest
Caribbean festival in North America.
Every summer, Toronto, Canada,
features the excitement of calypso, steel pan and elaborate masquerade costumes
during the Scotiabank Caribana Festival, which attracts more than a million participants
annually. This year’s Caribana runs from 14 July to 8 August.
The 17-member Pandemix has joined
forces with local band Panoramers and Toronto’s Afropan Steel Pan Band: The People
Band, for a competition performance during the Pan Alive event on 30 July and
the festival parade on 31 July. Afropan: The People Band has won awards for the
best steel pan band at the Caribana Parade 26 of the 36 years of the competition,
extended their welcome to UCCI’s young panners for the second consecutive year.
“It is truly an honour for both
UCCI Pandemix and Panoramers Steelpan bands to be invited for another year to
join the Afropan Steelpan Band in Canada,” said Pandemix mmember and UCCI student
“With a larger group this year, and
new members, we expect the experience to be both challenging and rewarding.
Collectively, we can all learn many things from each other and further develop
our skills and technique.”
Pandemix will also participate in
the popular Blokos street party with several other bands.
UCCI’s music director Glen Inanga
also noted that Pandemix will be representing the Cayman Islands as artistic
“I am confident that they will make
the most of this wonderful opportunity for educational development and cultural
exchange,” he said.