Trinidad and Tobago: August 11 has been officially declared World Steelpan Day by the United Nations. In 2022, a resolution to observe the day was put forward to the UN by the government of Trinidad and Tobago.
The resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on July 24, 2023. August 11 was chosen since August is Steelpan Month in Trinidad & Tobago.
World Steelpan Day is now an annual event and will be observed this year with Steelpan events throughout the Caribbean and across the world.
In commemoration of World Steelpan Day, Trinidad and Tobago is pleased to share this clip from the performance, “Eighteen on Steel”, featuring Ellie Mannette playing the soprano or “ping pong” pan with The Invaders Steel Orchestra, performing “Ah Want Ah Dress” by Lord Inventor and Telco Records.
This performance was presented by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago Film Unit, Public Relations Division. These melodies were selected from The Steelband Jamboree held at the United States Naval Station at Chaguaramas, Trinidad on November 19, 1961.
It featured The Invaders Steel Orchestra from Port of Spain, The Sundowners Steel Orchestra from San Fernando, and The Tenth Naval District Steel Band – U.S. Navy from Puerto Rico.
Also present were Julia Edwards and her dance group, who performed the Limbo, and the 1961 Calypso King, The Mighty Douglas. This video is part of the National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago Audiovisual Collection.
The captivating melodies of the Steelpan reverberate with the essence of their vibrant culture, embodying the unity and creativity that define the beautiful nation of Trinidad and Tobago.
It reflects on the incredible journey of the Steelpan – from its humble origins to its global acclaim. This unique musical treasure serves as a testament to their ingenuity and perseverance, inspiring them to reach new heights in all their endeavours.
Today, as they celebrate the harmonious fusion of notes and the tapestry of cultures that the Steelpan represents, they also honour the dedicated musicians, artisans, and educators who contribute tirelessly to its preservation and evolution.
Together, they can ensure that Steelpan’s captivating tunes continue to captivate hearts worldwide, fostering understanding and connection. It is time to unite the melodies of the Steelpan and continue to weave the fabric of unity and shared experiences.
Originating in the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago, the steel pan is more than just an instrument; it symbolizes culture, unity, and creativity. Its inception dates back to the early 20th century when skilled musicians transformed discarded oil barrels into musical instruments.
It honours the rich history, cultural significance, and global impact of the steel pan instrument. This day serves as a reminder of the incredible journey of the steel pan, also known as the steel drum, from its humble origins in the Caribbean to its influence on music worldwide.
It is a time to celebrate the beauty of diversity, the power of music, and the unifying force that the steel pan represents.
The United Nations declared August 11 World Steelpan Day to acknowledge that Steelpan promotes inclusive societies, sustainable communities and the creative economy and has a positive impact on mental health and well-being, gender equity and youth empowerment.
Anglina Byron, developed a deep-seated passion for journalism. Anglina is recognized for her tenacity, strength, and unwavering commitment to delivering honest and reliable news across the Caribbean. She covers general affairs of the region.