Massy All Stars Day to honour Neville Jules

Neville Jules -
Neville Jules -

Joint National Panorama winner Massy Trinidad All Stars will honour its band and late captain Neville Jules on All Stars Day, May 21, when it celebrates 89 years of TASSO – Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra.

Jules, who was born on May 21, 1927, was an arranger, visionary and the originator of the Bomb tune, a media release said.

"He added richness and depth of tone as he developed the guitar pan and basses to the steel orchestra, and placed emphasis on melody as much as rhythm," the release said.

Jules died in 2020.

The band is inviting supporters to its panyard on that day and is offering discounted specials on products and services from its merchants and also on TASSO merchandise.

All Stars' classical and Panorama renditions will be played all day. There will also be live performances with music from the stage-sides and DJ Ramona, the release said.

The celebration will also feature the launch of the book on the band, Mettle and Metal: The Birth of Steel Pan Music and the History of Trinidad All Stars' Steel Orchestra, authored by A Bukka Rennie.

There will be no entrance fee but contributions to the TASSO Academy would be accepted, the release said.

Former players, fans, and supporters are asked to visit panyard wearing their favourite All Stars jersey or uniform.

All Stars is urging the public to share its memories or take a picture and tag @trinidadallstarssteelorchestra, @trinidadallstars, or @TASSO.

This year All Stars was involved in a historic tie with bp Renegades for the National Panorama title in the Large Conventional Bands finals at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on February 13. Both bands scored 285 points.

About Trinidad All Stars

Massy Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra accompanies its sailor mas band on the road on Carnival Tuesday, February 13 at Downtown South Quay, Port of Spain.

Founded in 1935, Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra (TASSO) is located in Hell Yard, Neville Jules Junction, 46-48 Duke Street, Port of Spain.

It was in Hell Yard that the first notes were added to the earliest instruments. It was here that panmen first played with two sticks and became an orchestra. It was with All Stars that Neville Jules formed the guitar and bass pans and where the first Bomb tune was played, the release said.

Panorama victories

Since the inception of the Panorama competition in 1963, the orchestra has placed in the top three finalists on 29 occasions; has copped the Panorama title 11 times, and is the reigning International Panorama champion.

The first Panorama title was won in 1973 with Rudy Well’s arrangement of Lord Kitchener’s hit Rain-o-Rama. The other ten titles and International Panorama were won under the leadership of Leon “Smooth” Edwards.

In 2021, TASSO Youth Steel Orchestra won its first Junior Panorama with Kygel Benjamin’s arrangement of Machel Montano’s The Fog.

TASSO Academy

In April 2023, TASSO established the educational arm of the orchestra. Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra Academy (The Academy or TASSO Academy) is led by artistic director Dr Mia Gormandy-Benjamin.

The academy includes a junior section that includes formal music education; a senior section where adults learn in a relaxed environment; and outreach programmes where school and community involvement are key. The youth orchestra also falls under the ambit of the academy.

Band of the Year titles

The history of mas and Trinidad All Stars is older than the pan movement itself. To the present, Trinidad All Stars portrays Sailors Ashore: the sounds of steel and rhythm join a DJ on the road as thousands join the band for Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

It is a source of pride that Trinidad All Stars won the Large Costumed Band of the Year in 2014 and 2015. This is proof positive that pan and mas in Carnival remain vibrant and dynamic. In 2025, the sailors will be ashore in Brazil.

Steelband Music Festival champs

Six-time National Steelband Music Festival winners, musical excellence and musicianship have allowed the members of Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra to spread the culture of Trinidad and Tobago throughout the world, including the Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Nigeria, Ghana, Singapore, Australia, and India.

Many members study, teach and perform internationally, and TT-based players are the beneficiaries of their experience and expertise.


"Massy All Stars Day to honour Neville Jules"

More in this section