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Jun 9, 2022

Alex Evan’s Spectacular Journey to PanoGrama 2022

Belizean Pannist Alexander Evans is performing in the final round of the PanoGrama steel pan competition on Sunday night. Considered the World Cup for pannists, PanoGrama brings together some of the best pannists from across the world to compete against each other. Evans successfully made it through the first and second rounds of the competition. He is now in the top ten and has one final piece to play. News Five’s Paul Lopez spoke with Alexander Evans about his journey.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Alexander Evans is the first Belizean to compete in PanoGrama and he has made it to the finals. Widely regarded as the World Cup for pannists, Evans is now among the top ten instrumentalists in that competition.


Alexander Evans, Pannist

“I started playing pan back in about 2007 with the Pan Tempters Steel Orchestra. That was my introduction to the instrument. At the time I had already been playing a few instruments, guitar, base drums. But, I have always been fascinated by the steel pan, and I took the opportunity when I had the chance to learn.”


Evans has been playing pan ever since. He has been performing as a soloist. He also spent six years with the PanTempters Steel Orchestra, until he started the Pandemonium Steel Band under the National Institute for Culture and History in 2013.  Evans is also no stranger to pan competitions and winning.


Alexander Evans, Pannist

“I haven’t participated in any steel pan soloist competition before but I have one a few competitions. I won Belize National Song Competition twice. My composition won Guyana’s National Panorama last year, played by a Guyanese Pannist. I also won a number of awards in the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition in Trinidad and Tobago in 2019, including Best Musical Director, Best Arrangement and Accompaniment, and Best Coral Performance.”


Evans has performed twice so far in the PanoGrama steel pan competition. In the preliminaries, he performed a rendition of the popular 2020 afro-beat hit Love Nwantiti by Ckay which advanced him to the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, Evans performed Welcome to Belize by Leela Vernon which got him to the finals.


Alexander Evans, Panist

“I am proud to say that I made it to the PanoGrama finals having performed a Belizean Creole brukdown song, almost to underscore how much we as Belizeans undervalue our own music, because like this panel of international judges, and everyone, they deemed our music worthy of earning us a place in the finals. My belief and what I remain consistent with is that the competition is very much secondary to me. This is an opportunity for me to showcase not just myself, but to represent Belize, to represent myself and my music the best way possible and each round to try and put something out there  that is the best representation of me, my musical vocabulary and myself expression. So, I completely agree, there are some brilliant musicians in this competition and it is a privilege and an honor just to stand on the same stage with them, and may the best panist win.”


The final round airs on Sunday night on PanoGrama’s Youtube page. The top ten competitors are from Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, France, U.S.A, and Guyana.


Reporting for News Five I am Paul Lopez.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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