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Caribbean

Published on August 12th, 2015 | by TandT Newsday Newspapers

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Invaders Steel Orchestra turns 75

Caribbean Airlines Invaders Steel Orchestra having over half a century of experience and acclamation to its name, yesterday launched a week of celebrations marking its 75th anniversary. The launch of the band, first known as “Oval Boys”, took place at its panyard at 147 Tragarete Road, opposite the Queen’s Park Oval, Woodbrook. The week of events, set to take place from September 18 to 24, will illustrate the role of the steelpan movement in the development of the youth and the community, recall the band’s history and contributions, much of which were established by Ellie Mannette and his brother, Vernon.

A prime function marking the occasion is to familiarise the community and visitors to the legacy of one of Trinidad and Tobago’s major steelbands. Likewise, to revive the culture of steelpan among the national community, especially the youths coordinator of the band’s J’ouvert planning committee. “The younger generation in our country must know what their culture is about, since the culture nowadays is imported.” In an effort to highlight the band’s milestone, the launch of Invaders’ book, Invaders Steel Orchestra: The History of a Legendary Steelband by Dr Jeannine Remy and Ray Funk. An exhibition is carded to take place from September 18 to 23. A gala awards ceremony will also be held to honour the contributions of past arrangers, managers, captains, and present stage-side members.

That function will take place on September 20. Concluding the celebrations with traditional J’ouvert on September 24, Republic Day, members of the band offered attendees a sneak peak into the costumes participants can be expected to wear, including baby doll, fancy sailor, and Invaders working women.
Dumas emphasised the importance of exposing the steelpan culture to the masses, particularly through the organisation of traditional J’ouvert.

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