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America

Published on July 29th, 2013 | by Krystal Elliott

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YPSILANTI: Local NAACP chapter celebrates as national organization turns 104

The Ypsilanti-Willow Run branch of the NAACP celebrated the national civil rights organization’s 104th birthday Saturday with food, drinks and world-class music. “Most of our events are more formal, so we wanted to have a social event where people can just have fun and celebrate the birthday of the NAACP,” said Shoshana DeMaria, president of the local branch. The civil rights organization turned 104 years old on Feb. 12.

The event was held Saturday night at the Marriott Hotel, at 1275 S. Huron St., in an outdoor tent overlooking the scenic Eagle Crest golf course. The belated birthday celebration featured live music from the world-famous Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band, who brought the party with reggae, calypso and soca tunes straight from the Caribbean. Fronted by Hugh Borde, the band has been touring since the 1960s.  Borde discovered steelpan music when he was just 6 years old, living in Trinidad. He first heard the music coming from a local man who had made a steelpan instrument out of a metal can, small enough to fit in his hand. As Borde grew older, he and his older brother began fashioning steelpan instruments out of empty metal gasoline barrels, adding more precise-sounding notes as they honed their talent. “It was a lot of hard work,” Borde said.

Borde said that the popularity of steel drum music, which originated in the poorer parts of the Caribbean, grew as it caught the attention of wealthier people. Steel drum bands began to spring up all throughout the region. Borde’s band, the Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band, was sent to Canada to represent the island at the Montreal Expo’s World Fair in 1967. It was there that the band started to attract international attention, catching the eye of one very famous musician in particular.

 

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