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Bands battle it out in Brooklyn, celebrating Caribbean culture

Posted: 10:29 PM, Aug 31, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-31 22:42:28-04

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn — It was an exciting night of music in Brooklyn.

Nine bands battled it out outside the Brooklyn museum.

Steel drum orchestras with massive setups — some with more than a hundred musicians — brought the unique sounds of the Caribbean to Crown Heights.

"The music is so exhilarating and it keeps you going," said competition chairperson Joyce Quamina.

The pan or steel drum is an acoustic instrument invented on islands of Trinidad and Tobago.

"What we do is we try to do is spread out the music like your basic harmonies, bass lines, melodies," said Andre White, band leader of Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra.

Before the competition the bands warmed up by taking over the streets of Brooklyn and giving spectators a free concert.

Most of the bands are local, though one traveled from Toronto and another from Philadelphia

The music competition has been taking place for decades and is part of New York City's week long celebration put on by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.