Panwaves Steel Band
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Panwaves Steel Band


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"Cambridge-based Pan Waves Steel Band plays at Sarnia's Canada Day bash"

The sound of Kenrick Dookie's steel drumming was a new addition at this year's Canada Day celebration.

Dookie, 28, is a member of the Cambridge-based Pan Waves Steel Band that played at Sarnia's Canada Day bash Monday.

"They've always been asking us to come down to this parade and we finally had a chance to because the Cambridge parade didn't have enough spots for us this year," Dookie said.

"Things kind of came together at the last minute."

The band, largely comprised of Dookie's family members, was started in 1989 by his father - a Trinidad and Tobago native, where steel drums originated - and every year plays festivals like the Canada Day parade.

One of the lead drummers, Dookie, said he enjoys playing and is well-practised after learning to play the instrument at five years old.

"It's in our blood at this point ...," he said. "We wouldn't make the trip all the way down here if we didn't enjoy doing it and seeing the smiles on everybody's faces."

The band played a 25-minute set in Canatara Park, after drumming their way there aboard a float in the annual Canada Day parade.

"You develop your sea legs," Dookie said about playing on top of a moving vehicle.

"You have to have a good stance in case of any sudden truck stops or jerks," he said. "You hold on tight, but we're used to it."

Steel drums range from single drums with a multitude of notes, to a six-drum set with three notes per drum, he said.

And the instrument's popularity is growing in Canada, he said.

"It just sort of shows that Canada is the melting pot," he said. "Steel drums aren't necessarily from Canada, but it's becoming part of Canadian culture."

Some schools in Toronto have introduced steel drum bands instead of traditional orchestra instruments, he said.

"People definitely enjoy it."

@ObserverTyler - Tyler Kula, Sarnia Observer


Still working on that hot first release.



The band can be seen around the K-W Region in Santa Clause Parades and the Cambridge Canada Day Parade. Panwaves have also participated in the Scotia Bank Caribana Parades and Panorama/Pan Alive Competitions in Toronto from 1996 to 2002. The band has received many best band awards and in 2002 band leader Clyde Dookie received the Bernice Adams Award for music.