Calypsonic Steel Orchestra “Where words fail, music speaks.”
Formed in 2009, Calypsonic Steel Orchestra from Germany found its way to sweet T&T. Under the direction of Jonas and Justina Plöger, Y. Leon Lorenz and Lovis B. Suchmann and supported by the non-profit organization, “Calypsonic e.V. – Institute for Steel Pan and Calypso”, up to twenty young musicians committed to Afro-Caribbean music have impressed their audience time and again.
Not only did they win the UK Panorama in London in 2012, 2013 and 2014 as members of Real Steel. They also swept a bunch of prestigious national awards in Germany such as the regional competition “Jugend jazzt” in 2009, the 1st prize in the NRW Orchestra Competition in Paderborn in 2011 and the 1st prize in the German Orchestra Competition, Hildesheim, in 2012 where they also received a special award for “Best Performance”.
Calypsonic Steel Orchestra is one of Germany’s truly outstanding and authentic steel bands. Toussaint Clarke, Vice- Chairman of the prestigious UK Steelpan Tuners Guild, tunes their steelpan instruments. By working with and learning from some of the best arrangers and “pan-personalities” in the World such as Leroy Clarke, Toussaint Clarke and Duvonne Stewart, Calypsonic has musically developed in leaps and bounds through the years.
It has been noted that members of Calypsonic have played with Real Steel Orchestra (UK), Metronomes Steel Orchestra (UK), Endurance Steel Orchestra (UK) and even BP Renegades Steel Orchestra from Trinidad and Tobago. Calypsonic also maintains close connections to Steelbands in Holland, Austria, Australia, Switzerland and Greece.
Most of the musical pieces of Calypsonic´s repertoire are of Caribbean origin and arranged by Jonas Plöger, Y. Leon Lorenz and Lovis B. Suchmann.
This orchestra not only plays soca and calypso, but also reggae, contemporary Rock, Pop, Jazz and Classical music. Their repertoire includes “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, “Aicha” by Cheb Khaled, Sting’s “Englishman in New York” and John Legend’s “Ordinary People”, and even a violin concerto by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Calypsonic Steel Orchestra recently released their first album “Life on Planet Pan”. This is one for the pan connoisseur’s collection so check their Calypsonic Steel Orchestra Facebook page to order one.
Panpodium has seen these young and talented pan musicians progress from their early days in Pan Gang to the outstanding musicians are today. This transformation has come with their determination, dedication, commitment and love for music with the steelpan as their chosen instrument. They are perfect ambassadors for spreading the steelpan gospel.
By Y. Leon Lorenz