The Neal & Massy
Group commenced sponsorship of “Trinidad All Stars” in 1988. This was a choice
association as the band has always been an integral part of the rich and
colourful history of the steelband movement in Trinidad and Tobago. From their
origins in the 1903s as Hell Yard Boys, the band’s roots are deeply entrenched
in the indigenous culture of this country and its turbulent early beginnings
and explosive creativity are the hallmark of steelband music today. The band’s
name changed several times over the years, and finally “All Stars” was chosen
because of the perceived superior ability of the players. Soon after, “Trinidad” was added to the name.
Trinidad All Stars
pioneered the introduction of classical music on the road played to the rhythm
of calypso. They were also the first band to fuse melody and harmony by playing
the pan with two sticks. The band made the first “Quatro Pans” later called the
grundig and the guitar pans. A former captain of Trinidad All Stars, Neville
Jules, is credited as the inventor of the first bass pan.
In 1982, the
contributions of Trinidad All Stars to the steelband movement were recognizes
by the Government of Trinidad
and Tobago with the presentation of a
national award – the Humming Bird Medal (Gold).
Neal & Massy
“Trinidad All Stars” is recognised for its groundbreaking position within the
steelband movement through its members, who have carried the vibrant culture of
Trinidad and Tobago
around the world. The ban has received many accolades, and has become a premier
steelband with an enviable track record of discipline and musical excellence.
In 1993, the Neal
& Massy Group of Companies became associated with Derek Walcott and the
Trinidad Theatre workshop, through the sponsorship of one of his epic works –
The Odyssey, which was staged at the old fire station building in Port of
Spain, Trinidad. In 2005, the Group reviewed its connection with the Nobel
Laureate, and co-sponsored with BG Trinidad and Tobago
the production of Steel by Derek Walcott and Galt Mac Dermot. In doing so, the
Group filled a void that has existed in the history of the Arts in the Caribbean – the fundamental telling of the story of the
birth of the steel pan. The sponsorship of the production of Steel naturally
evolved from the Group’s direct involvement in the steelband movement through
its sponsorship of the Trinidad All Stars.