WOLFEBORO — On Sunday, March 11, the quintessential sounds of Pan Loco will once again bring the Caribbean to Wolfeboro at 2 p.m. at Brewster Academy’s Anderson Hall, 205 S. Main St. The concert is sponsored by the Taylor Community and Green Mountain Communications.
Pan Loco has been bringing sounds of the tropics to New England since 1991, when it was founded by Bob Lucas and Justin Petty. Hailing from the USA and the islands of St. Thomas and Trinidad, the musicians’ studies at Berklee College of Music and the University of New Hampshire brought them into one another’s orbits. In their more than 25 years together, the ensemble has earned a “solid and trusted reputation as polished professionals” in venues that include the Fletcher School at Tufts University and at First Night for the City of Boston.
In whatever setting Pan Loco performs, they concentrate on authentic calypso, reggae, and Caribbean Island music. Calypso is an umbrella under which one will find reggae and island music and is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago during the early to mid-20th century. Calypso’s rhythms can be traced back to West African Kaiso and the arrival of French planters and their slaves from the French Antilles in the 1600’s. “Kaiso” is an African exclamation meaning “well done!” Kaiso music which drew upon these African and French influences became the voice of the people and was characterized by highly rhythmic and harmonic vocals. To hear Pan Loco playing these genuine rhythms, go to: http://panloco.com/Media.html.
Pan Loco members have impressive resumes as performers and educators. Co-founders Bob Lucas and Justin Petty are the band’s steel players and arrange all of the ensemble’s music. In addition to his work with Pan Loco, Lucas plays as a soloist and has developed a sought-after steel drum history and performance program for elementary students that he has presented at schools throughout the region. Petty’s writing of steel pan music extends beyond Pan Loco to award winning writing for, and directing of, several larger steel orchestras in New England. He was the first tenured professor of broadcast media technology at Roxbury Community College in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where he has been the department chair of technology. He has given lectures on the origin and evolution of the steel pan at universities and colleges throughout the Northeast and the Virgin Islands. Gerry Rollock, playing the electric bass, grew up on the island of Trinidad. A graduate of Berklee College of music, majoring in music education, Rollock has taught in several schools. He is an active performing musician playing in many venues in the Greater Boston area. Sean K. Skeete, percussion, also holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, where he has been a part time faculty member. His talents are sought after throughout New England and he has performed with groups including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, and the Blue Man Group.
Tickets are available for $20 at the door, at Black’s Paper Store, and Avery Insurance in Wolfeboro; or at Innisfree Bookshop in Meredith; by calling 603-569-2151; or by visiting www.wfriensofmusic.org. Please note WFOM’s special policy: High school students with ID will be admitted free of charge, as will children accompanied by an adult ticket purchaser. Season sponsors of the WFOM series are Benefit Strategies and Paul and Debbie Zimmerman.
The Pan Loco Steel Band