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The 5th Biennial Steelpan Conference

'The Profound Influence of the Caribbean Carnival Art Forms (Steelpan, Calypso and Mas) within the Diaspora and in the Wider World'


Notting Hill carnival is underpinned by strong elements of the Trinidad & Tobago’s extravaganza and many of its founders steadfastly hold on to its origins to ensure its preservation. However, within the diaspora, local influences affect this equilibrium and gradually a modified art form begins evolving. The extent to which changes are assimilated is shaped not only by the artist but by technology, social and political events.

This meeting brings together artists from broad backgrounds that represent the three major components of carnival; practitioners of calypso, steelpan and masquerade, together with academics and an interested public to dissect out the intricate interplay between each discipline and how they are interwoven and progress to create a unified carnival artform that is unique and, in the case of Notting Hill carnival, typically British and now being disseminated around the globe. The conference seeks to understand how this process may be optimised and diversified in the future to engage more ethnic groups, not only from London but encompassing all regions of the UK and the wider world beyond. 

Some key presentations and performances:

Plenary Lecturer 1: James McGrath; “Lord Woodbine, The Calypsonian and Panman, Mentor to The Beatles”; Plenary Lecturer 2: Kim Johnson; “The History of Steelpan; its Physical Structure, Environment and how these Conditions Affect our Relationships with it”;

Other speakers include:

Salah Wilson, Jimi Phillip, Clary Salandy, Alexander D Great, Haroun Shah, Rachel Hayward,

Faustin Charles, Michelle Cross-Glasgow, Michael La Rose, Nicole Ferdinand, Ansel Wong, Simone Salandy, Fiona Hawthorne, Chistopher Innes, Dianna Hancox, Saheer Gharbia, Michelle Walcott, Candice Falconer, Laila Shah, Debra Romain, Juliet Sharpe, Toussaint Clarke, Marvin Barbe, 

Click to download the full conference book here

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