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Friday, July 28, 2017

BP RENEGADES

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The Renegades Steel Orchestra was founded in the latter part of the 1940s (after the Second World War), which makes it one of the world's oldest surviving steel-bands. The name was selected from a Hollywood movie by the same name at a time when steel-bands in Trinidad were organizing themselves like little armies and took their names from the popular war movies.

Over the years, the band has developed into an ensemble of outstanding musicians that have written the name, Renegades indelibly on the global musical landscape, becoming in the process, the most traveled and perhaps highest profiled cultural ambassadors of Trinidad and Tobago and of steelband music. Under the direction of celebrated arranger, Dr. Jit Samaroo, the band has built up a wide-ranging repertoire that includes selections from almost every genre of music under the sun.

Since the 1960's Renegades have toured extensively in France, Japan and the Caribbean, also The United Kingdom, Venezuela, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Tunisia, Morocco, Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, Portugal, Holland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Jordan, Gabon, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, Sweden, Slovenia, La Reunion, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Curacao, Guadeloupe, New Caledonia and the United States of America.

In 1990, Renegades mesmerized the world in Paris as the featured act for the entire second half of the Jean Michel Jarre, Paris la Defense Concert that attracted a world record attendance of over two million people. A huge section of Paris, stretching from the high rise business district of La Defense to the Arc de Triomphe, was closed down for the occasion with sweet pan music being played against the backdrop of tall buildings which were in turn used as the backdrop for laser patterns. That same year the band was the opening act at the Nelson Mandela Welcome Rally held at the Yankee Stadium, in New York.

In 1993, Renegades performed at the Earth Celebration on Sado Island off Japan, a highlight of which was the command performance featuring the world famous Kodo drummers of Japan, the Kangsadan Orchestra of Thailand and Renegades of Trinidad and Tobago. The band also performed at Jazz festivals in Antibes and Angouleme, France, sharing the stage with musical greats such as Miriam Makeba. In 2006, they took the 18th Commonwealth Games in Sydney Australia by storm and also performed at the Womad Festival in Adelaide.

In January/February 2008, the band was featured at a festival in France where the repertoire to be played was strictly that of celebrated composer, Franz Schubert. They followed that in April/May with a seven concerts tour of Tokyo, Japan where they performed the same Schubert7s repertoire, (which is available on the Renegades CD entitled, Musical Moments). The success of these two tours has laid the groundwork for the Renegades to return to the festival in France in 2009, 2010 and 2011 with repertoires of Johann Sebastian Bach, Frederic Chopin, Franz Listz, Bruckner, Mahler and Ludwig van Beethoven respectively under the Baton of Mr Desmond Waithe. The band has also been invited to tour Japan, Portugal and Brazil in those same years.

Renegades has received several awards, including a National Medal Chaconia Gold (1992) for its outstanding contribution to the culture of Trinidad and Tobago; several sunshine Awards from the USA; a Pan Trinbago award (1990), for outstanding contribution to the development of the steelband movement and a City of Port of Spain Award (1986).

The Band has won the National Panorama Competition on nine occasions inclusive of a hat trick of wins between 1995 and 1997 (the only steel-band to accomplish this feat thus far, and has placed in the top ten on every occasion since 1980 including several 2nd and 3rd places. They have also won the North Panorama Title on more occasions than any other steelband.

Renegades took possession of the Pan in the 21st Century championship in 2003 with a truly intoxicating performance of the Joey Lewis' composition, Pint of wine. They have also performed creditably at the biannual, Pan Is Beautiful Festival (whenever time permits that is) placing second on two occasions (1984 and 1988), winning the tune of choice category on both occasions with thrilling adaptations of Jacques Offenbach's, Orpheus in the Underworld and Gustave Holst7s, Mars the bringer of War. It is also the only band to have its history documented in a book.

The band is sponsored by BP Trinidad and Tobago Limited (formerly Amoco Trinidad Oil Company) - a relationship that has its genesis back in 1970 and has remained amicable over the years.

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14-17 Park Street, Portof Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
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