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Top 10 Steelpan Performances of All Time

We’re about to dive into the heart of the Caribbean, where vibrant culture and rich musical heritage have given birth to one of the most extraordinary inventions – the steelpan. This captivating instrument with its infectious rhythms has captured the hearts of millions worldwide. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey through time and space as we explore Exceptional Caribbean’s top ten pick of the best steelpan performances of all time.

1. ‘Pan in A-Minor’ by Renegades

Among the myriad of outstanding steelpan performances, one that stands out as a true masterpiece is ‘Pan in a Minor’ by Renegades arranged by the legendary Jit Samaroo. This performance showcases the pinnacle of steelpan artistry, leaving audiences spellbound with its mesmerizing melodies and intricate rhythms. Renegades’ seamless synchronization and unparalleled musicality create an immersive experience, drawing listeners into the heart of Caribbean culture. Through their dynamic performance, Renegades pays homage to the instrument’s rich history while also pushing the boundaries of contemporary steelpan music. ‘Pan in a Minor’ is a true testament to the power of this iconic instrument and its ability to captivate the world with its soul-stirring harmonies and infectious energy.

Notable Mention: Renegades is an iconic Trinidadian steelpan orchestra, that has consistently amazed audiences with their Panorama performances. They currently hold the Panorama title and recently broke the record for the most Panorama wins of all time. Each year, they bring innovation and creativity to the stage, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with the steelpan. Their performances are an explosion of rhythm, harmony, and precision, leaving spectators with goosebumps and admiration. Be blown away by the Renegades steel orchestra at the 2023 Panorama finals arranged by Duvone Stewart.

2. ‘Woman on de Bass’ by All Stars

In their powerful rendition of “Woman on de Bass,” the Trinidad All Stars steel orchestra pays tribute to the influential role of women in Trinidad and Tobago’s music and culture. Written by renowned calypsonian David Rudder, this iconic song celebrates the strength and impact of women in a vibrant and empowering musical performance. With their unique arrangements and masterful steelpan expertise, the Trinidad All Stars breathe life into this beloved composition, making it an enduring and inspirational piece. Join us in celebrating the timeless messages carried by “Woman on de Bass” and the Trinidad All Stars’ unwavering dedication to their art.

3. ‘Curry Tabanca’ by All Stars

Another renowned performance by the Trinidad All Stars, its captivating performance of “Curry Tabanca” is a shining example of their brilliance. Composed by legendary pan arranger Leon “Smooth” Edwards, this piece blends traditional Trinidadian rhythms with a modern twist, creating an exhilarating fusion of sounds that leaves audiences spellbound.

4. ‘Rebecca’ by Desperadoes

A notable steelpan piece arranged by Robert Greenidge for Desperadoes Steel Orchestra. This composition was a popular choice for the 1991 Panorama competition, where Desperadoes delivered a captivating and memorable performance that resonated with audiences and judges alike. Robert Greenidge’s arrangement showcased the orchestra’s technical prowess and musical depth, solidifying their reputation as one of the leading steel bands in Trinidad and Tobago. “Rebecca” remains an admired and cherished piece in the steelpan history, representing the brilliance of both the composer and the orchestra.

5. ‘Woman is Boss’ by Phase II Pan Groove

Phase II Pan Groove, led by the legendary arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, has consistently pushed the boundaries of steelpan music. “Woman is Boss” noted as one of the best steelpan musical arrangements, exemplifies their commitment to innovation, blending complex harmonies and rhythms into a harmonious masterpiece that sets the standard for modern steelpan orchestration.

6. ‘This Melody Sweet’ by Invaders

Invaders Steel Orchestra’s rendition of “This Melody Sweet” has become a favorite among steelpan enthusiasts. With its joyful and infectious melody, this performance radiates happiness and showcases the band’s incredible skill in delivering a vibrant and harmonious musical experience.

7. ‘Pan by Storm’ by Skiffle Bunch & Fonclaire

Skiffle Bunch’s “Pan by Storm” is a captivating display of raw energy and creativity arranged by Len “Boogsie” Sharpe. This performance showcases the vibrant spirit of the steelpan, capturing the essence of Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival culture in a harmonious celebration of music and life.

Fonclaire’s “Pan by Storm” by Ken “Professor” Philmore is regarded as one of the greatest panorama performances of all times. An unparalleled steelpan arrangement, defying conventions with superb rhythmic stresses and accents. This masterpiece strikes the perfect balance between innovation and tradition, captivating listeners with its emotive highs and lows. Philmore’s mesmerizing middle improv leaves us in awe, making it an unforgettable classic arrangement.

8. ‘Natasha’ by Starlift

Starlift Steel Orchestra’s performance of “Natasha” is a breathtaking tribute to love and beauty. This piece exemplifies the power of the steelpan to convey profound emotions, taking the listener on a journey of romance and enchantment.

9. ‘Dus’ in Deh Face’ by Exodus

Exodus Steel Orchestra’s performance of “Dus in deh face”, arranged by Pelham Goddard, earned widespread acclaim. This vibrant composition, brought to life by the talented Exodus Steel Orchestra,  exudes the vibrant spirit of Trinidad and Tobago. With an infectious rhythm, seamless fusion of calypso and soca, it remains a timeless symbol of the Caribbean’s musical heritage. Goddard’s arrangement continues to enchant audiences, leaving an indelible mark on the world of steelpan music.

10. ‘Engine Room’ by Silver Stars

The pulsating rhythms of soca music took center stage at the iconic Queen’s Park Savannah, as the renowned Silver Stars steelband orchestra, arranged by the talented Ojay Richards and Kersh Ramsey, delivered a show-stopping performance that left the audience awe-inspired. Setting the night on fire, their outstanding rendition of Olantunji’s Engine Room not only captured the essence of Trinidad and Tobago’s musical heritage but also showcased the raw energy and passion that make steelpan music a true cultural phenomenon.


Francesca Wilson

Trinidad-born Researcher, Francesca Wilson is a passionate and detail-oriented individual. She is an honour graduate of the University of the West Indies.

As a former Trinidad and Tobago Youth Ambassador and a UNITE 2030 Youth Delegate, Francesca is impassioned by the notion of Caribbean exceptionalism. This is why Caribbean development is always a focal point for her.

She is a true believer in the Caribbean aesthetic and that natural beauty is the way to go.

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