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ZigE has the Pan plan


ZigE has the Pan plan

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Any discussion of steel pan music in Barbados without a mention of David ZigE Walcott would be sorely off-key.
Spawned by a natural love for pan and drumming and innate talent, his mission to spread the sounds of the Caribbean to the worldwide stage is far from over for the versatile musician.
Not only is he working assiduously to stake out a steel pan presence outside of the West Indies, but the musician is also in charge of one of the biggest pan events for Crop-Over 2014.
“I have been given the task to push the Pan Yard limes, which are a new initiative of the Crop-Over festival . . .,” he told WEEKEND BUZZ at the event’s proposed venue, the Village Gate, in Waterford, St Michael.
He will also be producing Pan Pun de Sand, adding, “I understand the reason is to give the event a new life and new dimension.”
ZigE (spelt Ziggy in previous incarnations) believed a large part of producing popular event on the season’s calendar was ensuring the bands chosen to perform received maximum exposure possible.
“I am trying to get them something out of it more than money – [for example] the tuning, workshops and playing with the overseas band to give them that [opportunity] of playing with experienced bands,” he added.
An Alma Parris music teacher for the past six years, he is also playing his part to give exposure to local calypsonians in the bigger market and brighter lights of Brazil.
First stop: Bahia.
He explained that because of its proximity to Guyana, the music was similar to soca. ZigE has also set sights on Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil.
A member of the contingent of the political/commercial mission trip to Brazil in September last year, he revealed the trip was an eye-opener to the potential which abounds for local musicians.
“The average guy [in Brazil] may not know Barbados . . . or Rihanna.
So we have a prime opportunity where we can promote Barbados in Sao Paulo,” he said.
This fact was amplified by the fact that the steel pan was relatively unknown in the country. ZigE recalled with a smile: “When we perform they were like, ‘what is this?’”
Well, whatever they thought it was, the response was so strong that he was invited to play with Brazilian band Holgen later that year.
He described their music as a mixture between samba and garage band.
“It was very different for me,” speaking of the experience. “With our first rehearsal, I couldn’t figure out at first, but it fit right in [but] they were very accepting of pan.”
ZigE is currently in negotiation with playing with Holgen at a World Cup concert.
The father of two was also positioning himself for bigger stages, with a re-launch of his band and its branding.
ZigE the band featured other well-known names on the music scene, including Melvin Alyck, Darien Bailey, Kirk Arthur and Kirk Layne.
“We are trying not to be too traditional, but more new age pan, [so] we are doing things that a saxophonist would be doing, but bringing more life and modern technology.”