Steel Pan(Drum) & Jazz Festival
The T&T Steelpan and Jazz Festival is a showcase of the twin island state, arts, culture and ethnic diversity. Although the islands are only a few miles apart, they offer very different experiences to the visitor. In Tobago there is the lazy island life and some of the best outdoor attractions. Trinidad is bustling and has a vibrant nightclub circuit. Against this diverse backdrop the islands present a complete display of the steel pan, T&T's national instrument, in all of its musical applications. Ten days, two weekends spread between the two islands is ideal for the showcase and deliver an appealing set encompassing samba, calypso and smooth jazz
Promoting indigenous Caribbean culture at the regions various music festivals is the key to enhancing Caribbean tourism then Trinidad and Tobago has a distinct advantage over other destinations. Sure Jamaica's Reggae has repeatedly topped the international charts and traditional Cuban music has been the subject of a highly acclaimed feature film but unlike Trinidad and Tobago, neither of these or any other Caribbean country can claim it's own musical instrument.
The Trinidad and Tobago Steelpan & Jazz Festival (Formerly Pan Royale) is produced by The Queen's Royal College Foundation: a charitable trust, established in 1995 to assist students, staff and alumni of the Queen's Royal College (QRC) – one of the Caribbean's oldest, esteemed secondary-level schools.
A modern display of rudimentary crafts—steelpan making and jazz performance—the Festival takes you on a global musical tour through the expressions of full orchestras, to smaller steel ensembles and avant-garde crossover artistes.
The Foundation's major sources of funds are two annual entertainment events: Outta de Blue, a pre-Carnival fete and The Trinidad and Tobago Steelpan and Jazz Festival (formerly known as "Pan Royale"), the world´s premiere Steelpan music showcase.
Most steel pan jazz combos comprise of traditional jazz instruments and a frontline steel pan. However, there are a few festivals where nearly all the instruments are steel pans.
Salsa have become welcomed albeit familiar guests at jazz events throughout the Caribbean but only in multi-cultural Trinidad does a jazz festival menu offer calypso, soca, Indian tassa drumming, rapso (vocals rapped in a calypso cadence), parang Trinidad 's indigenous Spanish flavored Christmas music, and the best known of all Trinidadian exports, the steel pan. Combine these individually impressive musical elements into a single festival and the result is The Trinidad and Tobago Steel Pan and Jazz Festival Pan Royale, truly one of the region's most unique events.
The steel pan, the most important acoustic instrument invented in the 20th century is celebrated in the pan's birthplace Trinidad and Tobago. Whether casual music lover or aficionado, steel pan fanatic or curious spectator, Pan Royale delivers four nights of musical reasons to visit Trinidad and Tobago in late October.
While an array of local and international musical genres are presented throughout the 10 days of T&T Steel Band and Jazz Festival, it is the steel pan that provide the impetus for the event's expansion. The steel pan is the crowning achievement of creativity and artistic expression of T&T.
Steel pan workshops are combined with live performances of mainstream, avant-garde and fusion jazz. It features steel pan ensembles of all sizes, traditional jazz combos and vocalists from across the world. The festival is usually held in October of each year.
Essential Contact Information and other organizations dedicated to the steelpan and pannists
Trinidad and Tobago Steel Pan Festival and Jazz Festival
The Queen's Royal College Foundation
Tel.: 868 623 9291, 868 624 4569, 868 622 2544
PanTrinbago is a cultural organization in Trinidad and Tobago dedicated to the promotion and development of the steelpan and pannists worldwide. The organization has been recognized nationally and internationally for its excellent work spanning several decades and is the holder of the Trinity Cross, Trinidad and Tobago's highest national award.
Steelpans (also known as steel drums or pans, and sometimes, collectively with other musicians, as a steel band or orchestra) is a musical instrument originating from The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Steel pan musicians are called pannists.
Pan Trinbago also works closely with the National Carnival Commission a Government appointed Statutory Board, which has the mandate for the promotion of Carnival, our National Festival, and other National Festivals.
The World Steelband Music Festival is unique competition dedicated to the performance of European classical music (or music composed in that vein) on the steel pan (steel drums). An international festival, the World Steelband Music Festival, has been held intermittently in Trinidad since 1964, where steelbands perform in a concert-style ambiance a test piece (sometimes specially composed, or a selected calypso) a piece of choice (very often a "classic" or European art-music work) and calypso of choice. Panorama, the largest steelband contest in the world, occurs during Carnival celebrations in Trinidad.
Pan Trinbago hosts a National Steelband Music Festival each year alternating between the school bands and senior bands on a biennial basis. Recently Pan Trinbago hosted Steelband Month during the period August 1 – 31 with a number of planned activities in commemoration of the 19th Anniversary of the declaration of the Steelpan as the National Musical Instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. During Carnival festival listen for the panyard practices late into the night as Panorama, the steelband competitions, draw near. There are competition under the Categories of Soloist, Ensemble, Single Pan Band and Conventional Bands, with the Orchestra Finals.
The Regional Divisions are responsible for holding Steelband Jamborees and other local activities, as well as bringing to the attention of the Central Executive Committee, problems which cannot be adequately handled at regional level.
Pan Trinbago’s main offices are situated at Suite 1D, Victoria Park Suites Victoria Square North, Port of Spain from where the business of the organization is carried out. To facilitate the smooth operation of the movement, Pan Trinbago has been subdivided into Regions, with each regional body having the responsibility for the bands within its Regional space.
Pan Trinbago Head Office
Address: Victoria Suites(Victoria Square North),14-17 Park Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Telephone: +1 868 623 4486
Northern Region Office
Address: 45B Jerningham Ave, Belmont, Port of Spain, Trinidad, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Telephone: +1 868 625 4613
South/Central Region Office
Address: 158 Coffee Street, San Fernando, Trinidad, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Telephone: +1 868 657 1622
Eastern Region Office
Address: 133 Eastern Main Road, Tacarigua, trinidad, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Telephone: +1 868 640 8495
Address: Young Street, Scarborough, Tobago, Republic of Trninidad and Tobago.
Telephone: +1 868 635 0473, +1 868 639 1402
Pan Trinbago Website: http://www.pantrinbago.co.tt/