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8th International Biennial Conference in Carnival Arts; Steelpan, Calypso and Mas

The impact of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the resulting lockdown left us unable to host the 8th International Biennial Steelpan Conference in 2020. Rather than delaying another year, this conference will now take place in a period of relative quiescence during which many countries have relaxed travel restrictions and gained more confidence in controlling the pandemic. The troubling period over the last year and half has impacted greatly on all, but we look toward the coming months with optimism.
Across the field of arts, it is evident that the pandemic has taken a deep toll on the livelihood and careers of artists, with many events postponed or cancelled. However, with the knowledge, vaccination programme, and community determination, we are finding ways to rebound. We have chosen to host the conference this year to showcase some of the creative work and initiatives that have taken place during the pandemic, focusing on novel projects across the spectrum of carnival arts. We also wish to rechart the journey that TASPO pioneered at the Festival of Britain on its 70 th anniversary. During the turbulent racial disturbances in London during the 1950/60s, these artists steadfastly established themselves and gradually built-up a strong infrastructure for carnival arts that culminated in the world-renowned Notting Hill Carnival. We will honour their legacy through a ‘TASPO and Friends Reunion Concert’ where we pay tribute to those who have contributed so much to our community and promoted the global dissemination of steelpan. 
The conference will be presented as four sessions and two concerts taking place between the 1st - 3rd October and two youth workshops which will take place later
We welcome for the first time to Britain, the Rose of Sharon Steel Orchestra from Nigeria.


Nostalgia Steelband and St Michael & All Angels Steel Orchestra in partnership with:

• The Carnival Village Trust 

• Middlesex University

• Leeds Beckett University - Centre for Culture and the Arts

• Oxford Brookes University - Cultural Industries Research and Innovative Network and Innovative Network 



• The New Carnival Company

• Maestro 7 

• UKON Careers






These conferences bring together artists from broad backgrounds that represent the three major components of carnival: Steelpan, Masquerade and Calypso and make them accessible to all



Haroun Shah


Born in San Fernando, Trinidad, Prof. Shah has led a dual career in science and carnival Arts: PhD (University of London, Science (1981). He has had senior academic appointments at 4 universities for 35 years; 2 sabbaticals abroad. Wrote/edited 3 science books and published > 200 peer-reviewed science papers relating to nano-technologies and human diseases. He is currently, visiting chair at Middlesex University, London, Department of Natural Sciences and in 2019 lecturer on the Masters in Carnival Arts. He has played steelpan from  youth in Trinidad. Member of Nostalgia steelband from 1988 and co-director from 1998. He has organised carnival arts conferences biennially from 2006 -2021 and since 2018, has been a board director, Notting Hill Carnival Limited.  

Laila Shah

Laila is currently studying for a PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Oxford. She has participated in Notting Hill Carnival (NHC) from 11 months and though she has tutored on several musical instruments, her passion is for steelpan, playing with Nostalgia Steelband from aged 7. Inspired by a visit to Trinidad 2013, she arranged her first tune for NHC in 2013 and won the band its first NHC award in many years. She has toured with the band in Europe, China and Trinidad. She joined Mangrove Steel Band in 2018. She has been a youth organiser/presenter for steelpan conferences in 2012-2021. As of 2019, she is a trustee of the Carnival Village Trust.
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