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    New York Carnival Panorama: Local bands take part in steelpan drum competition in Brooklyn


    ByAnthony Carlo

    Sunday, September 3, 2023 2:59AM

    ABC7 New York 24/7 Eyewitness News Stream

    CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) — Steelpan drums are a simple instrument that excite the soul – percussion that elevates you to another place.

    The Brooklyn Museum came alive on Saturday night with sounds straight from Trinidad and Tobago.

    Roughly a dozen, mostly local bands took part in the Brooklyn Panorama Competition – including Steel Sensation from Queens.

    “My father comes from a family of steelpan musicians that are really famous in Trinidad, so he brought the culture here and we just continue it,” said band member Tristian Japsi.

    It is a continuous sound that compels you to move to the beat of Caribbean tradition.

    Betty Louis’ parents are from Haiti.

    “It’s always been a way for our family to get together and enjoy each other’s company, and feel like it’s home,” said Louis.

    To underscore just how important steelpan is to the Caribbean community in New York City, members of the state assembly actually introduced a bill to make it part of local students’ academic curriculum.

    “What that means is that a young person can decide to take a violin class or take a steelpan class. I can imagine that communities like Flatbush, Crown Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens – that young people are going to want to play steelpan and be culturally competent,” said Assembly Member Brian Cunningham.

    The party will go on with the New York Caribbean Carnival on Labor Day.

    ALSO READ | Questions over NYC’s aging infrastructure reveal troubling answers following water main break

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