FLASHBACK: Alexis Hope, centre, musical director/arranger for Scrunters Pan Groove is animated during the band’s presentation at the St James Community Improvement Committee (CIC) Christmas In the Park. Venue was the Amphitheatre, St James PHOTO: STEELPANAUTHORITY.COM


The sounds of the steelpan will resonate in St James over the next couple of days as activities to mark the annual WeBeat St James Live!, continues. 

Come Sunday June 09, three original St. James steelbands: Scrunters Pan Groove, St James Tripolians and Power Stars, will come together under the banner “Small But Large”, at the St. James Park and Amphitheatre, Western Main Road, St. James, from 6.30pm.   

The free concert, “Small But Large”, is an initiative of Keith Simpson, manager of St James Tripolians, who decided to stage this event as a gift to the people of St James and also in the memory of Earl Crosby, the first president of the St James Community Improvement Committee and chairman of the WeBeat St James Live Committee. 

Simpson said, “We may be considered Small Bands, but we are large in our hearts and conviction to ensure (steel) pan remains alive. Although each of the bands is unsponsored, all costs related to the event are being borne by the respective bands. Special thanks go out to Alexis Hope, manager of Scrunters Pan Groove and Gregory Lindsay, manager of Power Stars, for their support.”  Power Stars, was last year’s recipient of the St. James Committee WeBeat 2018 award. 

The popular “Five-A-Side” Steelband competition will also take place.  This event takes place on Thursday June 13, at the same venue. Showtime is 8 pm. Cover charge is $150.  

The competition was initially staged in 2006 under producer Alvin Daniell with nine finalists including Starlift Junior Band, Siparia Deltones, St James TripoliansScrunter’s Pan Groove and Codrington Pan Family which emerged winner. 

This year’s competition minus the skit is sponsored by TSTT/bmobile and endorsed by Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C. is produced by Simpson, a trustee at Pan Trinbago. The event is open to both Single Pan Bands and conventional steel orchestras. 

As the title suggests, bands will be limited to five players who must be stage side members of the participating bands which are financial members of Pan Trinbago. Bands must perform a song/tune composed by the Dr. Winston Bailey, aka The Shadow and not longer than five minutes in duration.  

Fifteen bands have been invited to participate. Prizes will be awarded to the first five bands. The remaining contestants will be paid an appearance fee. Registration continues daily until June 10. 

The last of the steelpan activity is the parade along the Western Main Road, St. James, on Saturday June 15, from 7 pm.