Pan in Brazil
The ability to play the steelpan has taken many Grenadians and other Caribbean nationals to parts of the world, they only could have envisaged in their dreams. And one of Grenada’s most travelled steel orchestras is the St Paul’s-based FLOW Commancheros, which was started in 1967, with the founding members – including the now 81-year-old Denis Phillip – rehearsing in a rickety wooden building.
In 1978, Commancheros embarked on their 8th tour, aboard the cruise ship, Ivan Franko. Band members, who were accompanied by the late calypsonian, Wilfred “Melody’’ Baptiste, were photographed while performing during a stop in Brazil.
In the photo are Evlyn “Brat’’ Bullen (manager/player); Denis Phillip (Second Pan); Byron Stuart (Bass); Lauriston Davis (Drums); Jude “Basay’’ Phillip (Single High Tenor); Lloyd Gay (Tuner/Guitar Pannist); Keith “Lion’’ Gilkes (Cello); and Robert “Toe’’ Cadet (Tenor Bass).
The 50-year-old steelband, formerly Coca Cola Commancheros, commenced touring in 1970 when their sponsors, Grenada Bottling Company of W. E. Julien, was managed by the late Rawle Charles.