Written by: Sandra L Blood
Music teacher at the Frederick Smith Secondary School, St. James, Barbados, and steelpan tutor at the Barbados Community College (BCC), Mark Forde, began playing the steelpan as a pre-teen, expanding his disciplines to include drums, percussion and music production.
In addition to having acquired an Associate Degree in Music from the BCC, St. Michael, he attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with First Class Honours and the top-music-student Newman Alexander Award from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, T&T.
Welcoming his audience on August 19, to the eighth PanMotion virtual concert, at 8p.m., he reminded that there’s no show without them, opening with Jamaica, ending with a lagniappe from his hometown Barbados, and delivering everything music in between.
Forde poured out a multi-cultural, international, play list comprising: Lockdown by Koffee; Ye, Buma Boy; I Can and Shankin’ Sweet, Chronixx; Memories, Maroon 5; Rise Up, Andra Day; Forde’s original, Bamboo and Do the Thing; By Any Means and Far from Finish, Voice; Dear Promoter, Kees and Voice; Ah Feeling, Lead Pipe and Saddis; Iron Love, Nailah Blackman; Allez, Teddyson John; Hulk, Blaxx; and Good Morning, Peter Ram, leaving his mark on the virtual pan concert…the last male to perform at the concert series.
A production hosted out of Barbados by PanoGrama Entertainment (PE), Forde, also an NIFCA (National Independence Festival for Creative Arts) Gold awardee, is no stranger to the stage, having lit up many at local events in his native country, Barbados, and toured extensively throughout the Caribbean, England and Qatar.
Guesting with Forde at sporadic moments, bringing heavy jazz influence, was former panist, professional trumpeter and vocalist, Barbados’ Kweku Jelani.
A very animated, engaging, interactive and perspiration-drenched Forde, threw his memory back to his first virtual pan experience as being participating at the first, virtual, international, pan competition held on April 2020, titled, Panograma hosted by PE.
He extended appreciation to the PE team for their initiative and affording him the opportunity to showcase his talent, Jelani, and the audience and, showed concern for the global pandemic and other social disruptions.
PE is in recognition of Steel Pan Month (August), and is on a mission to promote “sweet pan music” which they advocate to “share.”
Come August 27, the final performer for the PanMotion concert series happens to be the second female to grace the stage, T&T’s educator, performer, arranger, composer and drill-master, Natasha Joseph, dubbed a musical prodigy and pan ambassador.
· Fb: facebook.com/pano.grama1
· IG: instagram.com/pano.grama
To stay on Forde:
· IG: @markdepanman
· Fb: Mark Forde
· Yt: youtube.com./c/MarkFordeMusic
· Em: firstname.lastname@example.org
· IG: @kwekujtrumpet
· Fb: kweku Jelani