Ramsey-Moore: Tobago carnival will revive community steelbands

Pan lovers jam to the music of KatzenJammers Steel Orchestra, during Pan Trinbago's Pan and Powder event, in Scarborough, last Saturday. Photo by David Reid
Pan lovers jam to the music of KatzenJammers Steel Orchestra, during Pan Trinbago's Pan and Powder event, in Scarborough, last Saturday. Photo by David Reid

PAN Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore believes the October carnival will revive community steelbands on the island.

In an interview with Newsday on Sunday during the parade of the bands in Scarborough, Ramsey-Moore said the organisation’s pan events were hugely successful.

She described Pan & Powder, held last Friday night in Scarborough, as a movie.

“The October carnival helps our bands prepare themselves. It gives Tobago steelbands an opportunity to get ready and be better prepared for the (Panorama) finals and for the carnival in Trinidad and Tobago,” Ramsey-Moore said.

“We have two carnivals. We have one in Tobago and then we have a Trinidad and Tobago carnival. And I know as a result of all of that, there will be a resurgence in community steelbands in Tobago. Bands will come alive again.”

Ramsey-Moore, manager of the Black Rock-based Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra, said the carnival provides a space for the bands to grow and prosper.

“They would not have to fight up with the big guns in Trinidad. They are going to become big guns in their own space.”

She described the carnival as “pure excitement.

“I am lost for words. I looked forward to the day when Tobagonians and Tobago could have put on a magnificent festival like Carnival.”

Ramsey-Moore said the event has the potential to positively impact the island’s economy, which was virtually decimated by the covid19 pandemic since March 2020.

“It trickles down to the smallest man. The man with the roast and boil corn, the man with the souse. Even the man who picking up the bottle on the road. That is what carnival does and it provides an opportunity for our artistes, the creative sector to bloom and blossom.”

She thanked the THA or hosting the carnival.

“The talk has been in the air for a very long time about the Tobago carnival. But this Tobago House of Assembly, I don’t know if it is because of youthful thinking, they have grasped the opportunity and I want to commend them. Things won’t be perfect for the very first time, but when they fall down they will get up – and that’s what it all about.”

Ramsey-Moore especially commended Secretary of Culture, Tourism, Antiquities and Transportation Tashia Burris and the Tobago Festivals Commission.

She said the carnival must be an annual event.

“The social and financial impact are too great to just throw away just for one day. Long live the Tobago carnival.”

Despite the large number of international travellers who visit Tobago, Ramsey-Moore said, Trinidad continues to be the island’s biggest tourist market.

“It is the closest island to us. That is the reality. Some people may not like what I am saying but we cannot do anything in Tobago without our closest neighbours coming here. So we need that kind of support.

“But we don’t need all of Trinidad to come to tell us, do it so or do it so. Through a collaborative effort sitting down together, that is what is important at this time.”


"Ramsey-Moore: Tobago carnival will revive community steelbands"

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