When the Raptors decided to bang a drum about their amazing basketball win, the team turned to Steel! On Monday, Toronto’s All Star Steel Orchestra, (TASSO) was the only steel band performing in the city’s largest ever peacetime parade.
TASSO is a Toronto youth based steel pan orchestra under the direction of musician and educator Salmon Cupid. The 15-year old band has performed throughout the GTA and around the world!
“The NBA and Steelpan Music are two of the greatest things that the kids have experienced in their lives. And it all merged on Monday when TASSO got to be part of the Raptor victory parade,” said Yvette Martin, mother of pan player Alexus Bradley. “Wow! What a wonderful experience for the kids!”
“ TASSO has participated in many parades over the years but frankly, they had never seen huge crowds like they did on Monday!” She continued. “The very close interaction with an endless throng of spectators did affect and slow down our movement along the route. But that proximity was infectious and reminded us of the long ago Caribana Parades before barriers, ropes and high fences were introduced.”
The orchestra was asked to be part of the parade late in the game. There was a scramble to get the necessary permission from the city to perform, but their appearance, aside from the crowds jamming the parade route went without a major hitch.
The members of the band told to Camera that they were honoured to help the Raptors celebrate with the fans, the city and the whole country. One said that it was “an overwhelming moment of pride to showcase “Steelpan” on the world stage, a moment TASSO will always remember.”
Now that the parade is over the youth band is back to the pan yard to practices. They are preparing to take the “We The North” Music to Spain and will soon be announcing a fund raising drive for the upcoming international trip.
#steelpan, steelband#Raptors parade#Toronto#Caribbean Steelband#