There were 20 amazing performances but only ten could make it into the May 22 final for pan soloists in the 2021 edition of the NLCB Panograma Competition. Appropriately billed as The World Cup of Pan, and competently hosted by Tobagonian Nevin Roach and Barbadian Aundrea Wharton, and streamed on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, the competition actually started on May 7.

The preliminaries ran for three nights, featuring 30 skilled pannists from across the globe. Performances covered a wide range of genres including Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Classical, R&B, Gospel and Jazz.

Earl Brooks Jr

Some of the competitors really pushed the envelope in the preliminaries, like Canada's Gabriel Chatrand playing his own classical composition, Sonata in G; 2020 champion Earl Brooks Jr, playing "Best Part" by H.E.R.; and France's Mathieu Borgne's interpretation of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps."

Mathieu Borgne

One of the welcome additions to this year's edition of Panograma is the playing of its national anthem before each leg of competition. The anthem was written and composed by Mark Forde and mixed and mastered by Tracy Trotman.

Deja Cain

Of the ten finalists, seven will represent T&T, with France, Barbados and USA having one each. As he did in the preliminaries, France's Bogne also topped the semi-final, playing Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely." He was followed by Dejan Cain and Tyeesha Alexander, respectively, from T&T

Tyeesha Alexander

The other finalists, and their countries, are Jamel Cadette, Earl Brooks Jr and Hanif Goodridge (T&T); David Yundi (USA); Keishaun Julian and Charlton Alfonso (T&T); and, Andre Forde (Barbados). The NLCB Panograma Competition is judged by a panel of esteemed music experts including David "ZigE" Walcott (Barbados); Victor Provost (US VI); Andy Chichester (Grenada); and, Professor Liam Teague and Djay Richards (T&T).

Shaquille Forbes

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