Pomp, flair & an explosion of Caribbean music promised at ‘PanJam’

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You might have heard Vicadi Singh’s chutney hit “Neva Gonna Leave’ or Patrice Roberts’ soca song “Tender.” But have you heard those songs played on the steelpan?

Young Guyanese pan player Reon Miller is hoping to introduce patrons to those songs and much more through his new concert: PanJam- the Steelband jamboree. In fact, he hopes this new concert can become a new local entertainment sensation.

This jamboree builds on successful PanJazz concerts held in the past. Those events were a way Miller harnessed his talent and passion for the steel pan to fund his law studies.

Now, however, he is on a mission to spread the same vibes and euphoria he feels every time he touches the pan with as many people as possible.

“This idea came about because a lot of persons love the PanJazz concept but people are calling for more.

“They want the flair, they want the hype, they want the pomp that the steelband brings,” Miller told the News Room during a recent interview.

The Caribbean Airlines Parkside steel orchestra will clash with the Guyana Police Force band at ‘Pan Jam’ (Photo: News Room/ July 16, 2022)

The jamboree will be held on Sunday at the Black Magenta (formerly the Georgetown Club) on Camp street. It comes as part of a suite of steel pan events that Miller will organise as the Creative Director of PanJazz concerts.

He explained that this particular event will feature Caribbean genres of music including soca, reggae, chutney and calypso.

But it’s not only the kind of music that will be played. Miller said that some of the best local artistes are also pouring their talent into the jamboree.

PanJazz player and steel pan player Reon Miller (Photo: News Room/ July 16, 2022)

Singers Tennicia DeFreitas (known as Nekeita), Carlvin Burnette, Abel Stokes and Cassie Adams will be joined by saxophonist Roy Stewart and steel pan player Michael Smith Sr.

In the latter half of the show, the Caribbean Airlines Parkside steel orchestra and Guyana Police Force steel orchestra- fierce rivals at Guyana’s annual panorama event- will face off in what Miller terms a “pseudo-clash”.

Essentially, he explained, the two bands will be playing songs off of each other- hoping to best the other each time. And this part of the event, Miller said, promises to bring all of the hype and flair patrons have been yearning for.

Tickets for the highly-anticipated event cost $5,000 and Miller can be contacted on 643-4000.

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