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Trinidad All Steel Percussion OrchestraJGdeB
TASPO of 1951 could be called TASPO I; because there was another incarnation of this steelband in 1954 called TASPO II.
The historical importance of TASPO I, to the rest of the steelbands in the world ever to follow, is only just beginning to be unravelled and understood, far less recognised. TASPO was pivotal to the future development of the steelbands; not only for its function as a role model, but at that time it was probably the most technically advanced steelband in the world. But there are other facets of this steelband that mark its importance; even that one social cause that helped inspire its genesis, but that it failed to achieve for another 15 years or so. Much of this had to do with the players and tuners who made up the band and the band leader Lieutenant Nathaniel Joseph Griffith; himself an extraordinary influence, both in and out of this band.
Most of these people individually either were and continued to be, or became, major influences on the future developments of the steel drum instruments themselves, renowned band leaders or players, or helped the spread of the steelband idiom to Europe and North America. And that was after the impact and influence TASPO itself, as a band, had made on the local and international forums.
The honour of inspiration for the formation of TASPO, is at odds by comparison of Blakes and Goddards accounts. In that this honour was more likely conferred on the Governor, rather than inspired by him; that needs to be clarified. TASPOs social aim of unification of steelbandsmen remained unattained for about 15 years, a deeper sociological problem that needed other influences to surmount; but its call to social acceptance was nearly immediate and for reaching; as accounted both by Blake; and Dr Thomas, Goddards Editor.
At this end of history, the roll call of the band is nothing less than astonishing. Orman Patsy Haynes, Dudley Smith, Granville Sealey, Theo Black James Stephen and the fated Sonny Roache to begin. Where Blake records that Philmore Boots Davidson, Elliott Ellie Mannette, Anthony Tony Williams and Sterling Betancourt are tuners; the roots for cross pollination of ideas become firmly sown; with Andrew (later to become Pan) de la Bastide and Winston Spree Simon on the side, history as yet unrealised for the instrument, is in the making. Blake reveals Griffiths strong influence and tells more of this part of the story. Ellies double tenors and Williams spider pans are later legacies of this collusion.
TASPOs advertisement as a steelband to Europe, and the UK in particular, is unparalleled. Blake (later in his theses) records the influence that Orman Patsy Haynes, Philmore Boots Davidson and Sterling Betancourt had on the spread of the steelband idiom to the UK.
Both Seon and Blake remind us that, to the locals in Trinidad and Tobago in general, the acronym TASPO was well placed but open to playful euphemistic misinterpretation, when expanded to names like Philharmonic and All Stars.
SubSet of Chapter 03 that explors the creation of TASPO
Main Page under heading From the Secondary Reference Database
- T.A.S.P.O. - Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra
Extract by Dr Felix Blake
- Operation Britain: Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra:
A bounded eBook
Form G Goddards: Forty Years in the Steelbands
G Goddards: Forty Years in the Steelbands
Chapter 01: BIRTH and INFANCY of the STEELBAND: An Early Supporter among Professionals: Lennox Pierre
History records that on Friday July 6, 1951, TASPO ...sailed...
G Goddards: Forty Years in the Steelbands
Chapter 08: EDITOR'S EPILOGUE by Dr Roy Thomas: Evaluation of Newspaper Sources
...especially after the ...(TASPO) visit to the Festival of Britain.
Donald Seons South Panmen
Chapter 01: Formation: The Third San Fernando Steelband
Theo Black James Stephen, a member of the ...[TASPO] that visited England.
Donald Seons South Panmen[...the band is actually TASPO of 1951.]
Chapter 02: Competition: Skinner Park
From profile Winston Spree Simon[...Griffiths chromatic requirements for TASPO steelband in 1951...] From profile Orman Patsy Haynes
When the ...(TASPO) went to England in 1951, Orman...
From profile Kenny Hart
...when he ['Boots'] was selected to tour England with... (TASPO) [in] 1951...
From profile Neville Jules
Neville Jules did not go to England with ...(TASPO) in 1951...
From profile Theo Stephens
...Theo went to England with the ...(TASPO) in 1951.
From the Steelband Histories: The Steelbands unusual US Ambassador
...much as their Trinidadian counterparts TASPO, had previously done
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