Esso Tripoli Steel Orchestra

by jhalmrest
(Orlando, Florida)

Several years ago I had the privilege of listening to the ESSO TRIPOLI STEEL ORCHESTRA in Arima, Trinidad. That night, the band had over 100 members and 300 pans on stage. This was the most impressive musical performance I have ever seen. (And I have seen the big guns from Gladys Knight and Bob Marley to War and Issac Hayes!).

I was in the company of several other West Indians, from Jamaicans to Barbadians and Guyanese. From St Lucians and Grenadians to Antiguans. From Dominicans and Vincentians to even Canadians and Trinidadians. The musical repertoire was absolutely amazing! Not only did they play calypso, but they also played R&B, soul, national anthems, sentimental and religious music as well.

To say we were dumb-struck is an understatement!

Just listening in amazement to the extra-ordinarily high quality of music and the melody coming from steel drums sent shivers through my body. I felt my eyes filling up with tears of pride and joy - then they began to flow down my cheeks.

I looked around and noticed several of my friends not only transfixed on the band but they were crying as well.

That was the best crying experience I ever had!

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