Our History

 

Rooted in East Port of Spain – We are Trinidad All Stars

 

Learn MoreBecome A Fan

Our Story

This is Our Story…

Trinidad All Stars is the world’s oldest steel orchestra. Formed in 1935 at the height of a global recession, ‘Hell Yard Boys’ as All Stars was called, was at the forefront of innovation. Already known as masqueraders – they played bad behaviour sailors every Carnival Monday and Tuesday – it was the Hell Yard Boys who, as tamboo bamboo was giving way to pan, added the first notes to the new instrument. 

Over time the name would change – to ‘Second Fiddle’, ‘Cross of Lorraine’ and finally ‘All Stars’ – considered a tip of the hat to the players’ virtuosity. ‘Trinidad’ was added after World War II.

Hell Yard – 46 – 48 Duke Street, Port-of-Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Neville Jules – In 1970 Neville Jules was awarded the Humming Bird Medal (Bronze) for Steelband Music. Here he accepts the award from Sir Solomon Hochoy. Dr. Eric Williams is also present.

Our Foundation

The band was the first to play with two sticks, allowing harmony and melody to be played and heard together. It was former captain Neville Jules who made the first bass pan and the ‘Quatro Pan’- which was the first guitar pan. It was also Jules who for one Music Festival, unable to get the range of notes that he wanted, created the tenor bass, making him the father of the steel orchestra. 

Musically, Trinidad All Stars pioneered the playing of classical music on the road, highlighting the capacity of the steelband to go beyond the self-imposed bounds of playing only calypsos or boleros.

It was Neville Jules who developed the ‘Bomb’ concept – the calypso-isation of European Classics. Practiced with bare fingers in the Garret where only one section of the band at a time could be accommodated, the whole band played together for the first time when all the Pans were brought down to the street and the ‘Bombs’ were dropped on J’ouvert mornings. 

This skill has served the band in good stead as indicated by its continued success in Bomb competitions which are tailor-made for the players of Trinidad All Stars.

Classical Jewels

In 1974 the first Classical Jewels was held under the baton of musical director Gerry Jemmott. With the aim of maintaining and improving players skills outside of the carnival season, these concerts push musical boundaries and marry pan with voice and ‘traditional’ instruments. It is a source of pride that the series continues. 

Classical Jewels XII – the Movies was the last in the series to date and was held in December 2019 at NAPA under the baton of Dr. Mia Gormandy-Benjamin.

Fitzgerald “Gerry” Jemmott conducts Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra: Classical Jewels VI, 1987.

Mia Gormandy – Benjamin conducts Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra. Classical Jewels XII: The Movie. 2019

Our Musical Legacy

Musical excellence and musicianship have allowed the members of Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra to spread the culture of Trinidad and Tobago throughout the world, including the Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Nigeria, Ghana, Singapore, Australia, and India. 

Many members study, teach and perform internationally, and our Trinidad and Tobago based players are the beneficiaries of their experience and expertise. 

Into the Future

Trinidad All Stars recently established the Trinidad All Stars Youth Steel Orchestra that has performed on stage with the adult band, in concerts of their own, and on the Junior Panorama stage. 

After three short years as an orchestra, they are the reigning Panorama champions, having won the Youth Panorama competition in 2020. 

Trinidad All Stars Youth Steel Orchestra – Winners – Junior Panorama 2020.

Trinidad All Stars – Carnival Tuesday, South Quay, Port of Spain. 2012. Photo: Abigail Hadeed.

Carnival Traditions

The history of mas and Trinidad All Stars is older than the pan movement itself.

To the present, Trinidad All Stars portrays Sailors Ashore: the sounds of steel and rhythm join a DJ on the road as thousands join the band for Carnival Monday and Tuesday. 

Pride

It is a source of pride that Trinidad All Stars won the Large Costumed Band of the Year in 2014 and 2015. This is proof-positive that steelpan and mas in carnival remain vibrant and dynamic. 

In 2017, Trinidad All Stars, with Desperadoes, Exodus, Phase II Pan Groove, and Renegades Steel Orchestras, reactivated the International Steelband Foundation which aims to improve the viability and visibility of the steelband fraternity.

Trinidad All Stars – Carnival Tuesday, 2019.  Behind the bridge – on the way to Piccadilly Greens.

Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra – Panorama finals, 2020.

In Winners Row

Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra are proud ten-time winners of National Panorama in 1973, 1980, 1981, 1986, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2012,2015, and 2017, and won the International Panorama competition in 2015. The band also won the National Steelband Music Festival (Pan is Beautiful) in 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1994, and 1996.

Trinidad All Stars has been a proud partner of the Massy Group of Companies since 1988.

Hours of Operation

MON – FRI
7:00am – 10:00pm

SAT
9:00am – 10:00pm

SUN
We are closed

OFFICE HOURS

MON  FRI
9:00am – 5:00pm

Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra

46-48 Duke Street is a Safe Zone

All Covid-19 protocols apply

Hours may vary - please call:
(868) 627-2127

Drop Us a Line

Don't be shy. Let us know if you have any questions!