The Virginia International PANFest is a musical adventure set to the soothing sounds of steel pan music. The Festival’s casual atmosphere appeals to the island community and people of all ages who are intrigued by the unique sounds and style of steel drum music! Fusing together the rhythm of steel bands, ocean breezes, and great international food, the breathtaking Virginia Beach oceanfront becomes an “island paradise” for the weekend. Join world-class performers for a spectacular celebration of Caribbean music on the waterfront at Virginia Arts Festival’s 16th Annual Virginia International PANFest. Learn from Steelpan virtuosos and compete with up and coming U.S. and international steelbands.
Free and open to the public, PANFest is held on the 24th Street Pavilion at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront on Friday, May 11th, and Saturday, May 12th.
FRIDAY, MAY 11TH
Workshop and Masterclass
Master clinicians and teachers will present sectional workshops concurrently for high pans, middle pans, and low pans, followed by an interactive clinic and mass steel band performance. These workshops are open to any band participating in the festival, as well as individual participants with their own instrument and desire to learn!
SATURDAY, MAY 12TH
Join the fun in this day-long competition among community, private studio, high school, and middle school/elementary school bands. Virginia International PANFest adjudicators are the best and brightest of the Pan Music community. All ensembles will receive a trophy which will be presented at the awards ceremony on Saturday evening. A medal representing the appropriate rating, will be draped around the trophy.
Headliner Performance- Jeff Narell and Five Ten- 8PM
Jeff Narell, the internationally known pannist, and New York City resident cooks up a Carribean stew of dance grooves as the headliner at this year’s PANFest. His band Five Ten celebrates their San Francisco Bay home through west coast jazz, blues, funk and even Latin. Narell has been teaching, performing, composing, and arranging pan since the 1960s and continues to forge a musical vision with pan. “Pan is the newest family of acoustic music instruments on planet earth invented and developed in the 1940s by West Indian youth on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Pan is a bright light in our world – a new sound and energy and new medium to connect us and harmonize us.” Narell has been praised by The San Francisco Chronicle for being “In the forefront of the cross-breed music movement, blending jazz, pop, calypso, and reggae.”