Growing Love Garden Sponsors Steel Drum Picnic Concert

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Steel Sensations, a Trinidadian steel drum band based will take place at the Manorhaven Preserve (behind Our Lady of Fatima parking lot south side of Manorhaven Boulevard) on Sunday, Aug. 29 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The Mission of the Growing Love Community Garden is to connect the diverse community to healthy food, the environment and each other. Long Island Traditions recognizes persons and organizations that are active in preserving their cultural traditions learned within their families and communities, and passing them down to the next generation and in educating the public.

The Growing Love Garden will support the arts community in a collaboration with a free picnic concert featuring Steel Sensations, a Trinidadian steel drum band based out of Freeport. The concert will take place at the Manorhaven Preserve (behind Our Lady of Fatima parking lot south side of Manorhaven Boulevard) on Sunday, Aug. 29 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Steel Sensation was founded by Trinidadian born Ian Japsi. Japsi learned to play from family members including his uncle, the legendary Jit Samaroo. Trinidad is a small Caribbean island that has had a big effect on music through its contributions of calypso and the steel band. The steel band is composed of a variety of steel drums or pans with different tunings. The instrument holds the distinction of being the only acoustic instrument invented in the 20th century. Trinidadian steel bands began in the late 1930s, when musicians turned garbage cans and oil barrels into drums or pans. Over time the distinctive sound and rhythm grew popular during pre-Lent Carnivals similar to those of Mardi Gras.

Steel Sensation members range in age from 25 to 55 years old. They play both traditional and popular tunes, and have appeared on both television and radio. Their repertoire includes calypsos, jazz melodies, classical music and show tunes.

“In the past people listened and played the music by ear,” Japsi said. “In today’s musical arrangements musicians still play from memory but also use additional methods including learning and following songs by using score sheets and arrangements.”
Prior to 1989, members of Steel Sensation played in other groups at the annual West Indian Carnival Day Parade on Labor Day weekend in Brooklyn. This is a major cultural event that dates back to the 1970s. Currently Steel Sensation plays on family occasions and religious holidays. They also perform at restaurants including the famous Tavern on the Green in New York City and at museums and schools. Current members include Ian Japsi, Dwayne Richardson, Marc Brooks and David Stevenson. Their music arranger is Amrit Samaroo. Attendees are invited to bring their own picnic lunch (alcohol is strictly prohibited in the Manorhaven Preserve).

Space is limited, For more information and to RSVP, email growinglovegardenpw@gmail.com or call Tanya Clusener at 516-474-1402. People unable to attend can show their support for the garden and arts community by donating to: PayPal: growinglovegardenpw@gmail.com, or Venmo: @growinglovegardenpw.

—Submitted by the Growing Love Garden