This was the killer shot of the night. The opening act - Roy Stewart and Reon Miller

You should never miss a PanJazz Concert!

That's it. That's the post.

I can still hear the sweet sounds of steelpan replaying over and over in my head, with blends of melodious Guyanese voices, after experiencing PanJam: The SteelBand Jamboree Sunday night at Black Magenta.

Me (Gabriella) and Matthew Gaul

I will write this piece from a personal standpoint because I’m really and truly proud of what Reon Miller has put together, and I’m honoured to have been included as one of the hosts, alongside creator of Common Cent$, Matthew Gaul. I stand solid by this headline, YOU SHOULD NEVERRRR MISS A PANJAZZ CONCERT!! This was my very first time attending one of the events, and it was certainly an unforgettable experience and one that is most definitely needed more than once per year.

Creator of PanJazz Concerts, Reon Miller

To say that the instrument is underrated in Guyana, would be an understatement, but this event demonstrated how a simple iron barrel can bring immense joy and good vibes to a packed audience. Listen, I was jiving like I never did before, I even neglected my hosting duties at certain parts cause I was jumping and dancing along to each item on the programme.

The show demonstrated the versatility of the instrument, playing soca, reggae, chutney, afrobeats and all the popular sounds we enjoy as Caribbean people. It also showcased how talented our people are, not only the pannists, but all the singers and all the other instruments played during the night. Guyana really is home to a plethora of talented Guyanese youths, who just need more opportunities to gain the exposure to catapult them to their fullest potential.

PanJam’s lineup had me sitting in awe – what a beautiful display of what our people possess. I felt immensely proud.

I was transfixed

Creator of the concept, Reon Miller said that this show idea came about in 2018 as a fundraiser to pay through law school, but has really grown to bring about greater appreciation for the art form in Guyana, being a pan player himself. ”

Opening the fun-filled evening, Reon played the popular TikTok sensation ‘Love Nwantiti’, accompanied by saxophonist, Roy Stewart, and blew the roof off at the very beginning of the show. From the time I heard their performance, I knew PanJam was going to set the bar sky high for anyone who attempts to emulate a steelpan concert in Guyana.

This was the killer shot of the night. The opening act – Roy Stewart and Reon Miller

It was evident that the items and their placement were carefully thought out, and gave the audience an experience like no other. Following the opening act, was one of my personal favourites, and one of the main reasons why no PanJazz Concert should be missed. Have you ever heard of Rojeria McWatt????? That’s right, you have to come to the PanJazz concert to learn of her. Chileeee, her voice transcends you! I couldn’t control the chills that ran through my body as Rojeria and Abel Stokes (No stranger to the stage – I love Abel too!) came on and performed the timeless hit “Hello”by Lionel Richie, backed by all the instruments – steelpan, saxophone, guitar, drums, piano, and bass.

Rojeria McWatt
Abel Stokes and Rojeria McWatt

“When I look at where I’m coming from, I know I’m blessed!” – Chronixx. I certainly felt blessed to have been a part of the audience, and Lerone Souvenir reminded me of that when he performed the Chronixx hit “I can”, adding his own personal twist, fusing it with “Far from finished”and “Toast” with his unique vocals that moved the audience.

Lerone Souvenir in his element

Cassie Adams is a name that Guyana must know and claim proudly whenever it is heard. Believe me when I say she is a rising star. I first saw Cassie on the Guyana talent search competition held last year. She has great potential, the look, stage presence, vocal, talent, guitar skills, the whole package that can make the best out of a music career. Cassie came on after Lerone with her skilled guitarist, Daniel DeSouza and set the stage on fire. At this point, I was saying to myself, how better can this show get?? Talent overloaddd!

A visual representation of what Cassie Adams did to the stage – on fireee!

Performing in the duet with Rojeria simply wasn’t enough, the crowd had to get the full Abel Stokes experience, so he returned to the stage with a mashup like no other that had everyone rocking their chairs.

Carlvin Burnett in his zone

The transition from Abel to Carlvin Burnett sent me to cloud something lmao. Carlvin is my all time favourite, and I think I can speak for all of Guyana when I say his vocals are unmatched. My boy made his entrance to centre stage with the classic “If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right”. I think this was when I started to neglect my duties lmao. Whew! Unmatched I said! Everyone was swaying and singing along like we all can relate to the lyrics haha. But really it was his delivery, and the song truly is a classic hit.

He was later joined on stage by our “favourite Guyanese Browning” – Nekeitaaaa. I always enjoy the two together. The chemistry, the exceptional vocals on both parts – magical. They performed a series of old school hits from Gregory Isaacs and more, which appealed to the bigger folks in the crowed, but everyone enjoyed.

Nekeita and Carlvin Burnett

To wrap up the first half of the show, Michael Smith Snr. gave the audience a taste of what pure steelpan music can do for the soul. Performing “Master Blaster” by Stevie Wonder and “Hammer”by David Rudder as his two solo pieces, Michael, followed by the trio – Daniel Daly, Micheal Smith Jnr, Akeem Pompey who performed Kes’ “Savannah Grass”, set the tone of what we were to expect in the second half of the show – sweet sweet pan.

Michael Smith Snr
The trio Daniel Daly, Micheal Smith Jnr, Akeem Pompey

The second half of the show was the highlight of the evening, the clash of the bands! The Guyana Police Force Steel Orchestra, chune fi chune with the Parkside Steel Orchestra – Carlvin performing with Police and Nekeita with Parkside. I don’t think I can adequately describe in words how mind-blowing the clash was. So for you to get the full effect, check out the live footage!

Every body were on their feet, soaked in perspiration. The vibes! The vibes! You cannot miss a PanJazz Concert!! That’s it. That’s the post.

Parkside Steel Orchestra
Guyana Police Force Steel Orchestra
Leson at the front in the black shirt is a whole mood
Jane Miller
From ya see the British High Commissioner dancing, you must know the vibes were all the way up!
The Guyanese Browning doing her thang, feeling the “Vibez Againnn”


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