During the height of the 2020 COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, Barbados-based Trinbagonian pannist Nevin Roach had a stroke of genius, after encountering live entertainment on social media. As a result, a virtual solo steelpan competition, PanoGrama, was born and hosted live on Instagram @inev88 during April 24 - May 3.
The concept for the historic event was simple; a panorama vibe on Instagram, hence the name "PanoGrama".
Contributing to the artform; helping pannists ply their trade; fresh entertainment for a starved steelpan community; pannists to earn revenue; youth and cultural development; and a platform from which to showcase pannists’ talent, globally, were focal points.
To source all the right elements, however, to ensure a first production – a virtual pan competition, PanoGrama, to be hosted out of Barbados – was an uphill battle.
The world is quite familiar with the decades-old Panorama – pan competitions hosted in physical spaces, worldwide, so when the talk of virtual PanoGrama surfaced, most pan lovers and the corporate world were interested yet tentative.
But, assertively selling his idea, objective, plan and product, Roach pulled off the Solo Edition event in April magnetising 20 competitors.
The event attracted regional press, regional and international pan governing bodies, some celebrity pannists, and some affluent pan companies.
NB: Parts of the above write-up was extracted (and adapted) from an article titled "All about Nevin Roach and the novel PanoGrama Entertainment" which was written by Sandra L Blood and published by the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian on July 20, 2020.