Campus Life

Texas A&M Hosting Trinidadian Festival, Steelband Open Nov. 2-4

October 26, 2017

practicing with pan drum

By Texas A&M University Departments of Performance Studies and Anthropology

A Trinidadian Arts and Culture Festival and Youth Steelband Open will take place Thursday, Nov. 2 through Saturday, Nov. 4.

Performances, organized by students in Texas A&M University’s Performance Studies class, “Seminar in Global Performance: Cultural Performances of Trinidad & Tobago,” will happen at various times at different campus and community locations throughout the festival.

The Department of Performance Studies is partnering with Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies N. Fadeke Castor’s Global Caribbean Cultures class, the Brazos Valley African American Museum, the Downtown Bryan Association’s First Friday, and Take Stok, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes steel pan education and performance among youth.

All events are free and open to the public, but organizers are planning to collect cash and check donations to support Habitat for Humanity’s hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean.

  • Thursday, Nov. 2: TAMU campus, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the courtyard of the Liberal Arts and Humanities building

Performances by Maroon Steel, Texas A&M’s steelband; Blue Steel, Matanzas High

School steelband from Florida; and Texas A&M performance studies students

From 6:45 to 8:15 p.m. in the Chemistry Building, Room 2104

Screening of “Pan! Our Music Odyssey,” a documentary about steel pan, followed by a Q&A with the director and producer of the film, Dr. Kim Johnson, director of the Carnival Institute of Trinidad & Tobago.

Read more information about Thursday’s events on Facebook.

  • Friday, Nov. 3: Downtown Bryan, Sale Park, at 315 S. Main St., from 6 to 9 p.m.

First Friday street performance featuring Maroon Steel and Texas A&M performance studies students.

Read more information about Friday’s events on Facebook.

Performances, demonstrations and Q&A sessions include the following: soca performer T-rock Again from Houston, steelbands from Florida, spoken word artists from Trinidad’s Roots Foundation, acclaimed steelband arranger and performer Yohan Popwell, pan tuner Emily Lemmerman, and Texas A&M performance studies students. A food truck from Stush Caribbean Fusion will be on hand from which attendees can purchase delicious food.

Read more information about Saturday’s events on Facebook.

Southwood Elementary presentation
Students in Texas A&M University Professor of Performance Studies Mariana Gariazzo’s Performance in World Cultures class perform at Southwood Elementary School in College Station as part of an educational outreach initiative.

The performance studies students will demonstrate and perform research-based projects that they have developed from their studies of cultural performances of Trinidad and Tobago. Those performances will include kalinda (stick-fighting), playing mas (carnival masks and costumes), steel pan, graphic art, storytelling and folklore traditions, calypso and soca music, among other offerings. In addition, organizers invited steelbands, steel pan music arrangers and performers, a steel pan tuner, a soca performer, spoken word artists, Caribbean-American organizations, and scholars from Trinidad, Florida and Texas.

The event seeks to foster transnational connections between Trinidad, Florida, and Texas. Namely, the festival will raise awareness about the diversity and value of Trinidadian artistic and cultural performances, and promote cross-cultural understanding and dialogue. The festival will provide an opportunity for reflection on how Trinidadian cultural traditions and performances have influenced the U.S. and how they are relevant to members of the Trinbagonian diaspora.

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Media contact: Dr. N. Fadeke Castor, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies at 979-862-4526 or; Dr. Kim Kattari, Assistant Professor of Performance Studies, at 979-845-3355 or; or Elena Watts, Division of Marketing & Communications, at 979-458-8412 or

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