By Gerald V. Paul
Wendy Jones and her team wowed a packed audience at Canada Christian College last Saturday night with their Pan Arts Network Gospel Praise on Steel with the Malvern Praise on Pan.
Trinidad and Tobago-born Jones, who is to receive the BBPA Harry Jerome Award, Entertainment, 2015, leads Pan Fantasy Steelband and is a dedicated Christian. “I love Gospel music,” she says.
Along with Earl La Pierre Jr. and her team, Jones was excited to see a packed house and that pan is alive and well.
Be it the six bass or the pan, Jones is in her element in a “watch me fly.”
Pan culture is her lifestyle. “When I playing I don’t have time to think about anything else – only the sweet bass lines,” said Jones who lost her beloved brother and father this year.
She said the objective of Pan Fantasy Steel Orchestra is to continue to foster youth leadership skills through the performing arts. “I would like to see the instrument embraced by the school boards. And also see that the instrument is accessible in community programs to continue to help at-risk youths.”
And to broaden the horizons of young people, Jones took some along to participate in the New York Panorama, with successes including second place.
Meanwhile pannist Winston Dayal posted on Facebook Sunday: “Maracas Beach time.” Dayal, who flew to Trinidad and Tobago after the event, noted that “pan show was great yesterday. Full house. Did two songs: Days of Elijah and He Looked Beyond My Faults. All the bands excelled. Elton Jones arranges three of them.”
Next stop for Pan Arts Network is Fort York National Historical Site in July.
“It’s a free-spirited event where people can just come out to a park and relax. When we were looking for a name, New Generation came up and it seemed appropriate because we have something new and fresh that will be annual.”