Melissa Doughty - Trinidad & Tobago Newsday
The NLCB PanoGrama comes at a time, yet again, when the covid19 pandemic has shut much of the arts and entertainment sector. The virtual pan competition – the brainchild of Tobagonian pannist Nevin Roach – was born out of the need to provide some form of entertainment during the early ravages of the pandemic last year.
This year it is back and bigger, with its title sponsor being the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB). Its preliminary round took place from May 7-9. A media release said, the preliminary round came to an end on Mother’s Day, May 9, "after the last ten competitors pulled out all the stops to ensure their spot in semi-finals.
Founder of PanoGrama Entertainment Nevin Roach, left, co-hosts the 2021 edition of the NLCB PanoGrama with Barbadian Aundrea Wharton.
"There were 30 local, regional and international pannists pushing for a spot in the semis. There will be 20 competitors in the semi-finals. It added that the talent was so exceptional during the preliminaries that the results showed some pannists were only four points apart. More than 6,000 people globally streamed the virtual event on PanoGrama's social media pages. "The three-night segment featured ten pannists each night whose performances were nothing short of outstanding, covering genres such as reggae, soca, gospel and R&B," the release said. The participating pannists came from TT, Barbados, St Lucia, France, Canada, UK, Antigua and Barbuda, US Virgin Islands, the US, Guyana and Grenada.