CARICOM Celebrates Steelpan as a Caribbean Cultural Touchstone

Friday, 11 August 2023 (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown):  The CARICOM Secretariat joins the world in celebrating steelpan on August 11, which has been designated by the United Nations General Assembly as World Steelpan Day.

We celebrate with Trinidad and Tobago, the birthplace of steelpan, the creation of the instrument which is now integral to the cultural fabric of the Caribbean.

The steel pan was developed from discarded oil drums by marginalized youth in Trinidad and Tobago in the 1930s and has evolved from the margins to the mainstream of Caribbean cultural expression. It represents a unique Caribbean creation, a symbol of resistance, and a time-honoured tradition of musical excellence and is celebrated globally as the only acoustic musical instrument created in the 20th century.

The steelpan was widely used in CARICOM 50th Anniversary Celebrations in July 2023 with lauded performances at the “Golden Rhythms: CARICOM at 50” concert at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) which featured an energetic solo steelpan performance by Rodney Small from St Vincent and the Grenadines and the National Steel Symphony Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago.

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