Players gather at Despers USA’s pan yard on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

I wish I could take credit for it, but it was someone over at NPR who chose the title “Bang on a Pan” for my story about the 45th annual Steel Band Panorama competition. It’s a genius title though, right?

One basic thing I think I didn’t convey in here is just what a majestic spectacle it is when a huge steel orchestra is all synced-in and playing at the top of their game. If you’re in Brooklyn next August, do yourself a favor and go to a band launch party.

The website When Steel Talks is a clearinghouse for information on steel orchestras, including the ones in Brooklyn. Another good resource is the book The Steelband Movement. It’s an academic but readable account of steel drumming’s origins, history, and political character in Trinidad.

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