Dubai welcomes Trini Steel | Local features



The steelpan will take center stage at the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020, which runs from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

The tenor pan and the PHI electronic steel pan will be presented at the event. The six-month multicultural extravagance, which will include creative and business presentations from 193 countries, is taking place a year later than originally planned due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Music promoter Simeon Sandiford, a designated sales representative for the T&T pavilion at the exhibition, said it was a unique opportunity to have more than 25 million people interacting with the pan in person and millions more virtually.

“The whole world will be virtual and real there. They expect about 25 million people to go through (the exhibit) in the next six months. The pan will be there with sticks for people to play. We have people on the ground who will take care of the lodge, ”Sandiford said in a telephone interview with the Kitcharee on Friday.

Sandiford, owner of popular music store Sanch Electronix, said he was happy to find T&T pannist Earl Brooks Jr had been booked to perform at the show. Steelpan Tuner’s Guild member Sandiford says he once spoke to Brooks Jr, a former student of his Pan In Education program, about making stops at the T&T booth to give live demonstrations to visitors.

“We were trying to get someone to Dubai to go do a demonstration. As fate would have it, I bounce off Earl Brooks Jr, one of my Pan in Education mentees with St Augustine High School. He was one of the 50 musicians from around the world chosen to host the exhibition, so he would stay there for six months.

Earl will be there for individual and group performances. He could come to our pavilion and make a nice demonstration. And he knows how to play the PHI pan, so he will be more than helpful, ”said Sandiford.

A voice from the Caribbean

The Dubai Expo is just another small step in Sandiford’s overall plan to create regional cultural harmony through its One Caribbean Voice project.

Sandiford says the initiative seeks to use the region’s talents as a vehicle to tell a quintessentially Caribbean story.

“One Caribbean Voice is a model of the exploitation of culture for economic ends. We have such rich stories to tell here that the world needs to hear, ”he said.

Sandiford has also scheduled a encore performance of their Heal Our Land (HOLA) concert as a fundraiser for the movement. The concert, recorded at the Little Carib Theater in 2016, is scheduled to air continuously at 5 p.m. on October 30. Tickets are available on

Ticket holders can also win one of three door prizes at the event, including a complete pan kit including a pan, pan stand, sticks and carrying case and 15 hours of lessons, a Sanch’s box of classic CDs and two hardcover books on the history of the pan, Sandiford said.

“By organizing the concert, we set financial goals. We want to sell 5,000 tickets. Once we generate some income, we will donate it to the Interfaith Organization (IRO) so they can deal with some of the Covid issues. And of course the musicians have to be paid, ”he said.

The money generated by the show will also be used to update their Pan In Education software suite, which includes Pete the pan stick and teaches kids how to play the pan.

“It’s self-learning software where you can pan and learn to play. We need to digitize it to be available on smart devices and add content to it. It is a software in six chapters.

One of the chapters is a quiz on the history of steelpan on four levels of difficulty from primary education to higher education. It can be a game changer for those who wish to use the pan as their preferred instrument for music education, ”concluded Sandiford.


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