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Caribbean

Published on September 30th, 2013 | by Gary Cardinez - Trinidad Express Newspapers

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Pan Jazz Festival launched

The annual Trinidad and Tobago Steelpan and Jazz Festival was launched at the Helen May Johnstone Room, Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s last Wednesday afternoon and members of the participating bands present, were all smiles when they heard that the prize money was increased.  A product of the Queen’s Royal College Foundation, the Pan Jazz Festival will run from October 12 to 27 and will include the Pan Challenge, Pan Royale and Developmental Workshops.
After a long absence, Pan Royale is back with a bang and will come off on October 12 at the QRC Forecourt with WITCO Desperadoes, N&M Trinidad All Stars, bpTT Renegades and Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove. The preliminary round of the third Pan Challenge comes off on Sunday October 13 at the same venue as Pan Royale. Fourteen bands will compete to make it into the first eight for the final which will be held at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s on October 27.  The Developmental Workshops will run from September 22 to 25 and will take place at venues in Port of Spain, Arouca, Sangre Grande and San Fernando. Over 450 young musicians have participated in these workshops thus far.

According to chairman Ainsley Mark, “When we started planning this year’s festival there were three core points. First, to make it the premiere Pan Jazz Festival in the world. Second, Pan Jazz Festival is totally different to the steelband in the broad context and third, the Developmental Workshops have been very successful. “We needed to raise the bar and celebrate excellence so we have brought back Pan Royale and it will be a show of class and nothing like a blocko.” Mark continued, “The Pan Challenge now in its third year is about a twelve-piece band playing Caribbean music in the jazz genre. I feel bands now have a good understanding of what is required and we will see a more integrated approach to the ensemble and conventional instruments. “There will also be two $5,000 prizes for individuals who show the best improvisation on the steelpan and on conventional instruments. The prize for the winner of the challenge is now $100,000, second is $50,000, third is $30,000. Fourth to eighth will receive $25,000.”

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