Welcome to BostonsOwn.com, Boston's Caribbean Accent

"The authentic Caribbean is made up of all of the world's peoples - African, Asian, European, Mid-Eastern and the native Amerindian. They form an ethnic montage that has composed a distinctive cultural personality.  "...

Guyana Cultural Association of New York

September 2, 2015 Awards

Celebrating our Guyanese heritage is an acknowledgement of its influence on our present condition. Its attributes can be discerned in the trajectory from the past.....(read more)

GCA Awards



Performing and Visual Arts Highlights for the Month
Boston and Lynn, Massachusetts

National Caribbean American Heritage Month

In June 2005, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71 recognizing the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. On February 14, 2006, the resolution similarly passed in the Senate. Since the first presidential declaration, every President has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month.

North Shore Caribbean American Organization, Inc.

June 6th
June 7th
June 27th
Fashion Show & Social
Worship Service
Caribbean Festival Day
7pm - 11pm
12pm - 4pm
Lynn Museum
Washington Street Baptist Church
Lynn Museum
Contact information: Muriel Clement / 617-529-8686  /   nscaribbeanamerican@gmail.com

Guyana Friends Association of Massachusetts, Inc.

Caribbean Cultural Arts Center at St. Mark's Episcopal

June 6th Sounds of the Caribbean
Distance eLearning
Steelpan Lessons
12:30pm - 3pm St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Dorchester
Contact information: Damian Huggins /  617.905.8741  /  stmarksecmp@outlook.com 
NSCAO LogoEClogo

Caribbean Music and Community

2015 St Mark's Episcopal Music Program for Youth

eLearning Steelpan Open Session June 6th 2015

Skype Notes Screen notes Pan Education

2014 Concert Announcement

Preserving the legacy of an exemplar of excellence in music education: an evening of jazz and contemporary music.

Orville Wright Memorial Benefit Concert 2014

Music Programs for Youth

The Boston community crossed important thresholds in two recent Caribbean Carnival seasons. Music notation was included in a summer program in 2011.  The next year a critically acclaimed history book was presented in an urban setting.

St Mary’s Episcopal B-Safe program conducted a Steelpan Music education pilot in Uphams Corner. During the same 2011 summer period, music exemplars - Kendrum Youth Steel Orchestra - performed at three events.  Pan Xpressions hosted a jam session in its panyard with these guests from Canada. A brief introduction to computer technology for formal music theory instruction was part of that get-together, also.

Treblestaff St. Mary's Episcopal Church Performances

Steelpan History Book

In August 2012, The Trotter Institute, University of Massachusetts, Boston, sponsored a book launch at the City’s Strand Theater. It was the first time that formal education was tied to the presentation of Caribbean Carnival art forms and their history here. These activities were consistent with events at Symphony Hall and the Strand Theater over a decade earlier.


Steelpan History – August 22nd, 2012

The development of the steelpan as a musical instrument began in the third decade of the 20th century.  Steelpan’s birth and growth in Trinidad and Tobago is widely attributed to the African heritage of its inventors in the Trinidadian underclass. The Illustrated Story of Pan by Kim Johnson documents the oral and pictorial history of the steelband.

Steelpan music has been popularized throughout the USA and in Boston it has been institutionalized in the Uphams Corner and Dorchester neighborhoods for decades. Exemplary recitals of this art form have been presented by Caribbean artists at Symphony Hall in 1997 Voices of the Caribbean show and at a PanFest in 1998.  Other performances were a 2000 Caribbean Christmas Concert at the Strand Theater and the Boston Caribbean Carnival events in 2011.

Illustrated Story was presented during the 2012 Carnival Week in a setting outside the celebratory norm. Berklee College of Music Associate Professor, Ron Reid made the music educator presentation of this scholarly, historical book at the Boston presentation and celebration. 

Illustrated Story of Pan

Unnamed biscuit band playing in Port of Spain,
Trinidad circa 1947
Panazz Players

Panazz Players ensemble featured in
Chapter 10, Tomorrow’s People.
Photographs from The Illustrated Story of Pan courtesy of the Digital Pan Archive

Welcome Remarks
Barbara Lewis, Ph.D, Trotter Institute, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Welcome to the Strand and to this celebration of Trinidadian musical culture.  It is exciting to be part of this year’s event.  My name is Barbara Lewis, and I am Director of the Trotter Institute at UMass Boston, one of tonight’s co-sponsors.  It has been my privilege to work with Ronald Lammy, the brains and brawn behind this event.  Ron is passionate about history, culture, and business, and that is an interest that we both share.  In addition, I am especially pleased to see that Orville Wright, with whom I worked closely at the university closest to the Strand, is being remembered.   Orville was a jaunty presence on campus, always dressed to the nines and doing everything he could to make the Department of Performing Arts, where he was Chair for several years, a better place for students, faculty, and community.

He loved music, Pan and his island home.  Pan is intimately associated with the festivities of Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago.  It used to be that in New York, where I have spent a lot of time and where the West Indian Labor Day Parade is a true institution, Pan was always being played in the streets and in the subway.  And then the ping and zing of its distinctiveness began to disappear.  Don’t know if there was an official ban on it, but I am delighted to see that there are those here in Boston who have not forgotten and want to celebrate its history and its future.

The Carnival Tradition

Let me say a few words about the Carnival tradition and how it brings people together and also the social function it serves, a role that Pan shares.  Actually, the history of Pan as I understand it, says something significant about Carnival and about the re-creation and continuance of culture.  Pan is a unifier and an amplifier.  It is also an art of resistance, a reaction to repression.  That is how it started.  There was a crackdown, years ago in the last century, about 75 years ago, counting from today.  It was back in the late 1930s when stick fighting, a cousin of the Brazilian martial art of capoeira, was banned in Trinidad. 

When one door closes, it’s time to open a window.  That’s what I learned in my childhood, and that is a mantra that the Trinidadian people, who refused to be denied what they knew and loved, decided was the way around repressive law.   They would not forsake their traditions, so they decided to sublimate their energies through music.  They took what they had at hand and transformed the everyday into something everlasting.  That’s how Pan was born.

A few years later, the American military came to the island because of World War II and Pan drummed a wonderful new, percussive sound in their ears.  It ignited their feelings and quickened their step, adding liveliness and zeal to the rhythms they knew.  So soldiers and sailors from America helped to spread a desire for Pan around the world.  Now, we are in the era of the social network.  But Pan was a communicating system, bringing people together globally before the invention of the net.  Pan is creative and innovative, a cultural resource of enormous power and reach.

Music has a Diplomatic Mission

We don’t often think of music as a weapon, but it has a diplomatic mission to bring people together despite differences.  In Boston, we often cleave to the people and customs that remind us of home and heritage.  That is fabulous and necessary but sometimes it can also stop us from coming together as a far-flung family with many branches, some reaching into the Caribbean, others into Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and into all parts of the Americas. 

Carnival brings people together and unites us into a distinctive blend, making us one while it mixes chaos and order in manageable proportion.  Pan, the music of Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, has wide, far-reaching meaning and resonance.  If we look at the roots and origins of human language, we discover that pan means all.  That is a lesson to contemplate as we revisit and celebrate our togetherness and our collective force this evening. Thank You.
Barbara Lewis

Barbara Lewis, Ph.D, Director, Trotter Institute,
University of Massachusetts, Boston
Shirley Shillingford

Shirley Shillingford, President,
Caribbean American Association of Boston

Carl Smith and youth members

Carl Smith and youth members
Branches Pan Groove Steelband

Ronald Reid

Ronald I. Reid,
Associate Professor,
Berklee College of Music

Pan Expressions and Others

Ronald Lammy, Ron Reid and Al Hodge
co-leader of Pan Xpressions
Youth members Pan Expressions

Derica Thompson, Mariah Ramdial
and Shayna Rey-Relva of Pan Xpressions

A View for the Future: Mariah Ramdial of Pan Xpressions

"My name is Mariah Ramdial, and I have been playing the steel pan for about 12 years. I started playing when I was 8 years old in Trinidad and joined Branches Steelpan Orchestra when I moved to Boston.

Pan is a major part of my life and has always been a constant love of mine. I love pan, everything about it. It has the ability to stand alone, and also the ability to blend in perfectly with a large band. People are always amazed by the big sound that comes from such a simple looking instrument and that always brings a smile to my face.

My hope for the future is that the instrument continues to stay like it is and as the years go by the culture and history of the instrument lives on!

Steelpan History

The Illustrated Story of Pan
Review by Ronald H. Lammy

“It began with a single photograph” Kim Johnson states in published remarks about his book. Then he explains how the picture of an ancestor took him on a sojourn relating to identity and creativity. The image connected him to a distant land and it propelled him to learning more of the history of his Trinidad birth place.

Popular commentary has it that The Illustrated Story of Pan was a four-year project that used contemporary computer technology and ended in 2011. But that story, like the scores of others in the book, has more details behind it. All of them were gathered for two decades during the author’s journalist career; this time he wanted to add pictorial facts.

“I’d spent years interviewing pan pioneers without ever considering that there must have been photographs, but now [2007] I returned to them, this time with a portable scanner and my laptop.

I also asked everyone I knew if they had photographs. I asked the same of strangers. I sent out thousands of e-mails, wrote articles in the press, spoke on television and radio. Through an association of retired US soldiers, I wrote to servicemen stationed in Trinidad during and after World War II. And I asked everyone to ask people they knew.”

Authenticity is what those pictures and responses convey in this profoundly revelatory book. LenBoogsie Sharpe’s spoken word, for example, reinforces the character of genuineness. His description of boyhood days in the Starlift panyard is a case in point. It rings true on the printed page because it is Boogsie’s speaking voice - verbatim.

The book production is itself a work of art. Casually scanning through it can evoke fascination in the reader. It is large - 10 inches square and over 1 inch thick with 288 pages - and heavy.  It is full: ten chapters; hundreds of pictures with at least one on every page; images as varied as the earliest ping pongs to Anthony Williams' pan notes diagrams that have the aura of science to a calypso tent group picture of the Mighty Sparrow, King Fighter, Lord Coffee, King Cobra and Young Killer. In 2005 Kim Johnson was given a family portrait of ten individuals.

“I’d known nothing about the ancestor who’d made the trip from China.” The new knowledge gave him a sense of “roots” to learn about his great-grandmother. The revelation motivated him and thus, The Illustrated Story of Pan is “the result of 20 years working as a writer and trying to understand our history”. Pan in words and pictures.

Order your copy - $58.80 plus USA Priority Mail postage 2-3 business days delivery from Boston to USA Zip Codes: http://www.panontheweb.com/to_order.htm


2014 Concert Announcement

Preserving the legacy of an exemplar of excellence in music education: an evening of jazz and contemporary music.

eCaribbeanArts, managing partner of the St Mark’s Episcopal Music Program, lends its support to the Wright family and UMass-Boston for the Orville Wright Scholarship Concert at the University of Massachusetts Boston on October 20, 2014. This performance is a tribute to Orville and his
gifts to us.

Orville Wright

Orville Wright Memorial Benefit Concert 2014

Contact: Joan Wright, 617.364.1344, joan_wright@verizon.net

An evening of jazz and contemporary music brought to you by Orville’s colleagues. 

  • Walter Beasley - Professor – Berklee College of Music
  • Jetro  Da Silva -   Professor  – Berklee College of Music
  • Sherma  Andrews - Honor Student, Graduate – Berklee College of Music 
  • Ron Reid - Associate Professor   –  Berklee College of Music 
  • Sean Skeete - Assistant Chair  – Berklee College of Music
  • Dr. Leonard Brown - Associate Professor  – Northeastern University
  • Jerry Secco - Assistant Professor – Berklee College of Music
  • William Banfield - Professor   – Berklee College of Music

Join the Wright Family, friends and former colleagues of Orville's for a concert to contribute to the Orville Wright Memorial Scholarship Fund, at the University of Massachusetts Boston. This evening of jazz and contemporary music is an exceptional event dedicated to the spirit and legacy of Orville Wright.  

Best of Panazz  - Boston Connection

Twenty years ago, when I was searching throughout Trinidad for quality oil drums to have our bass pans made, I could never have imagined that I would now be producing a "BEST OF PANAZZ" compilation.  Wow!

panazz CD
The Pan Ramajay Competition was one of the main motivations for forming the band, coupled with the opportunity to select music that would be challenging and at times, 'out of the box'. To have found such a talented bunch of players with great improvisational skills and clever arranging abilities was very exciting and a real blessing. But what really worked in our favor was the palpable chemistry and showmanship that developed and clearly shone through on stage. A big thank you to all the players for having made it work so well.

As a kid growing up, I remember hearing many 'Jazz standards' played from my father's vinyl collection when he had his friends over. Errol Garner, Ramsey Lewis and Carlos Jobim were a few names that had a big influence on our early repertoire. Mixing their music with other genres, including Calypso (of course), Latin and even some RnB and Soul was a lot of FUN!

After winning four consecutive Ramajay competitions, it was off to spread the word internationally. We travelled throughout the United States, to the UK, Japan and the Caribbean, including two consecutive appearances at the St Lucia Jazz Festival. We performed in some amazing venues.

But what stands out in my mind were our two sold out performances at the prestigious Boston Symphony Hall. There, along with our talented guest saxophonist Arturo Tappin, we had no less than three standing ovations! We were on FIRE!!

On behalf of the Panazz family I'd like to sincerely thank all our loyal supporters, friends and fans for the many exciting memories. This compilation has arguably some of the best selections from our four albums, which have been brilliantly remixed and remastered with enhanced sound quality.

ENJOY Barry Bartholomew
Musical Director

Best of Panazz CD / DVD

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of their founding they released the Best of Panazz, a CD and DVD set in November, 2012.   The fourteen re-mastered selections, and the video recorded for BET Jazz, present the performing excellence and sophisticated style that remains unsurpassed today. Listen to samples:

Best of Panazz CD - Track List

  1. Portrait of Trinidad and Tobago.
  2. Makin' Whoopee.
  3. Ole Lady Walk A Mile.
  4. Gypsy Kings Medley: Bamboleo; Volare;
    Djobi Djoba; Baila Me.
  5. Misty.
  6. I Got You (I Feel Good).
  7. Pan of the 21st Century.
  1. Wave.
  2. Tico Tico.
  3. The Shadow of Your Smile.
  4. Fly Me To The Moon.
  5. Pull the Bull.
  6. O Holy Night.
  7. House to House Medley.

You can order your copy at $19.95 here: http://www.panontheweb.com/to_order.htm

Carnival Arts

Boston Carnival Mas

Boston's Children

Boston Arts Festival

Carnival in the Pink

Boston Arts Festival
Boston's Children - D'Midas International of Boston, Boston Carnival

Boston Arts Festival
Caribbean Carnival

Carnival in Pink, Boston Carnival
(Globe Staff Photo / Dominic Chavez)
courtesy Boston Globe Online

National Caribbean American Heritage Month - June

In June 2005, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, recognizing the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States.  On February 14, 2006, the resolution similarly passed the Senate, culminating a two-year, bipartisan and bicameral effort.
Since the declaration, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month.
The campaign to designate June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month was spearheaded by Dr. Claire Nelson, Founder and President of the Institute of Caribbean Studies.  Through the commemoration of this month, we hope to ensure that America is reminded that its greatness lies in its diversity with Caribbean immigrants.

Massachusetts Caribbean Anniversary - August

Senator Bill Owens, in November, 1991, joined with the Massachusetts Black Legislative Caucus, the Caribbean Ad-Hoc Committee and Ambassadors from Caribbean nations to celebrate the passage of legislation sponsored by the Senate. The bill, Senate 1108, proclaimed that the governor declare the last week of August be celebrated as Caribbean Week in Massachusetts.

Noting that there are more than 300,000 Caribbean nationals residing in the Commonwealth, Senator Owens' legislation cited people of the Caribbean as, "distinguished residents of the state who have made significant contributions to life in Massachusetts."

Multi Genre Creativity

Boston-based artists and productions - Steelband, Comedy and Folk


"The authentic Caribbean is made up of all of the world's peoples - African, Asian, European, Mid-Eastern and the native Amerindian. They form an ethnic montage that has composed a distinctive cultural personality. Their rhythms are unique as seen in their performing arts - music and dance; they stimulate your sensibilities with the writings of their writers and the paintings of their painters; and they nourish you with their cosmopolitan food.

These characteristics and an early socialization in multicultural, multiracial countries have allowed West Indian immigrants, for example, to assimilate seamlessly into Boston. They have an almost instinctual knowledge of how to live in a city such as contemporary Boston." eCaroh 2003©

eCaroh Caribbean Emporium, home of Sweetsoca.com and PanOnTheWeb.com eCaroh Caribbean Emporium
eCaroh Boston Steel Pan Institute

©2013 eCaroh Caribbean Emporium.
All rights reserved.
Ron Robinson Noel Denny Nadia Jagan Deo Persaud Mwanza Mainza Glenn St Alban’s  Episcopal  Vidyaratha Kissoon Dr. Maya Trotz Akima McPherson Stanley Greaves GCA Awards Ceremony, September 2, 2015, Brooklyn, NY Damali Abrams Lorna Campbell Ameena Gafoor Jonathan Locke Keisha Scarville Abigail Brower Anaya Lee Willabus