PanoGrama made its mark on the entertainment scene when the COVID-19 pandemic brought physical events to a screeching halt in 2020. Now, in its third year, the highly anticipated virtual steelpan competition is gearing up for more action. This year’s competition takes place from May 6 – June 12, 2022 and is set to feature 27 pannists from a total of 11 countries.
The competition has seen the return of several countries since its first and second staging, and welcomes newcomers St. Kitts & Nevis and Belize to the fold. The two newcomers will join Antigua & Barbuda, Canada, France, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, the USA, and the US Virgin Islands when the event gets underway.
Belizean pannist, Alexander Evans, is extremely excited to be participating in his first soloist steelpan competition. “It is a privilege and an honor to be the first Belizean to participate in this competition, and I hope to represent my country well and to remind the world that yes, Belize is here; We are strong in our Caribbean identity; and we can stand proudly on any international stage.”
Meanwhile, reigning champion Keishaun Julien (Trinidad & Tobago) has opted out of defending his title, and will not feature this year. Julien disclosed that winning PanoGrama “opened the door to many opportunities for which I am eternally grateful. However, for 2022 I’ve decided to focus my energy on other aspects of my brand.” He encourages all participants to be strategic, be creative and most importantly, to have fun, and looks forward to seeing all the amazing talent.
This year’s winner will walk away with over USD $6,000.00 worth of prizes, which includes an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas, a brand-new Perfect Steel tenor pan and case, USD $1,000.00 cash, and a private session with a world-renowned steelpannist. Professor Liam Teague, Dr. Mia Gormandy-Benjamin and adjunct Professor Victor Provost will have the difficult task of adjucating the pannists, while Ojay Richards and Andy Chichester stand ready as judges substitutes.
The competition will take place virtually from May 6 – June 12, 2022, and will be streamed on YouTube. The prelims are set for May 6-8, the semifinals on May 29, while the curtains will fall with the finals on June 12. With over a month to prepare, the participants are in high gear for competition. Visit http://www.pano-grama.com/grama-22 for more information.
Antigua & Barbuda – Maurisha Potter, Malik Smith, Jawan Henry
Belize – Alexander Evans
Canada – Gabriel Chartrand, Thadel Wilson
France – Olivier Wiren, Mathieu Borgne
Grenada – Mikiel Smith
Jamaica – Kraig Bisnott
St. Kitts & Nevis – Aaron Mentos
St. Lucia – Al Alexander
Trinidad & Tobago – Shaquille Forbes, Marcus Prince, Sachelle Thomas, Devon Atherley, Jamel Cadette, Deja Cain, Simeon Superville, Aquila Pereira, Tevin Shockness, Christopher Neale, Hanif Goodridge, Emannuel Joseph, Jaron Woodsley
USA – David Yundi
US Virgin Islands – Miguel Bougouneau