Saturday 28th July, 2007

 

Ten years of Playboyz pan

 
 
 
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Angostura Woodbrook Playboyz Steel Orchestra performs on the street.

Angostura Woodbrook Playboyz Steel Orchestra is a celebration of the spirit of Woodbrook and the pride and joy that the community itself has given to hundreds of residents in the field of sports and the arts.

The Woodbrook community has a rich history of producing popular steelbands. The Playboyz genealogy is rooted in the early days in Woodbrook when young men gathered to play sport, go to dances, and to dress up and play saga boy.

But there was also the call of the steelband and the desire to form such bands to play music and parade on the streets.

These bands form a Woodbrook honour roll and include the legendary Invaders, Saigon, Hit Paraders, Dixie Stars, Hells a Poppin, Katenjammers, Green Eyes, Starlift, Modernaires and Phase II Pan Groove.

The birth of the Playboyz was therefore not a surprising extension of the Woodbrook steelband tradition. Playboyz is however more than a steelband.

In the space of just ten short years, the Playboyz organisation has evolved into a community institution, deeply rooted in the neighbourhood and comprises the band itself, a members club and a fraternity of pan and mas fans spanning the globe from within the Caribbean to North America, Europe and the Far East.

This indeed has been a fantastic journey and a remarkable achievement for a “single pan” band.

The Playboyz story is one of sacrifice, dedication, commitment and determination and is somewhat synonymous with the challenging history of the steelband movement itself.

The Genesis

Angostura Woodbrook Playboyz first appeared on the landscape of Single Pan Bands in T&T shortly after the Carnival celebrations in 1997.

The idea for the formation of the Playboyz first spawned when a group of like minded individuals who were associated with the Woodbrook Modernaires, left that organisation over differences in the management and direction of the band.

In the months following the split, a small core group who were determined to see the formation of a new organisation, met on a regular basis to discuss ways and means of acquiring instruments and securing a place to practice.

This group included Vincent “Benji” Benjamin, Anthony “Moose” Bynoe, Tommy Legall, Desmond “Chippy” Marcelle, David Penco, Lionel Garcia, Leroy Grant, Kelvin Holder and Ian Clarke.

The group’s first meetings were held at the popular Lifestyle Pub on Bengal Street in St James, courtesy pub owners Sydney and Carol Alexander.

Management

Playboyz’ first management team comprised Benjamin as chairman; Dr Ashton Parris as vice chairman; Clarke as secretary; Arnold Moore as assistant secretary; Garcia as treasurer; Roland Correira as manager and Bynoe as assistant manager. The trustees were Penco and Kelvin Legall. Marcial was captain and vice captain was Holder. Grant was PRO and senior advisor was Andre Cruickshank.

Brian Kuei Tung operated as executive advisor.

Over the years the band’s management has been restructured to cater for a reduced leadership committee.

The current committee comprises chairman Parris; manager Benjamin; secretary Grant; captain Garcia; and Members Irwin Brooks and “Moose” Bynoe.

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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