Category Archives: Music of Panama

Profesor Carlos Grant

Profesor Carlos Grant

Profesor Carlos Grant

My days at trying to become a “Real Colon Boy” would make all the goings on at Abel Bravo fascinating and dazzling. I settled down to days filled with normal school work, finally.

But my relationship with my new girl friend and my collection of new street friends who seemed to be over joyed to have me around as one of their regular friends buoyed my once depressed spirit. I was now captured and claimed by this school and by the teen crowd as one of them. But, I was also claimed by China as her steady boyfriend and for once I started to feel like I was “home.” Continue reading

The Problem of Culture in Panama

This is a sample cartelera from a Latin American tour. Image from

Right now I am involved in workshops at the National Assembly’s Commission on Education, Culture and Sports to hammer out a law (Proyecto de Ley #416) that would transform our beleaguered and under-funded INAC (Instituto Nacional de Cultura) into a full Ministry.  It was long overdue in my opinion. Continue reading

The Issue of Exposure to Culture

A classic Wurlitzer Juke Box of the kind you could find in the cantinas. Image:

Living and growing up in the Panama of our times was always a total paradox. As someone said about being in such a state and trying to get untangled, “To manage a paradox you need to live with it as well as analyze it.” That is what I have being trying to do thus far along with chronicling how it has been with my people, as part of the Silver People of the Panama Canal Zone since its inception. Continue reading

The Evolution of Barrio Musicians

Image thanks to

I’ve held on to the subject of my experience with the Instituto Nacional marching band because, as I’ve come to find out, it is a topic near and dear to us the Westindian kids who grew up in Panama. Continue reading

Panama Jazz Festival Will be a Real Treat

This year The Panama Jazz Festival, which celebrates it ninth version, is even better organized and promises to be an all around treat for not only Jazz enthusiasts but for budding Jazz virtuosos. Continue reading

We Won’t Let Them Die!

“Lord” Byron Downing as he appeared in an interview from 2008.

We usually equate the Ukulele with the famous Hawaiian singers.

With the news of the death of one of the few remaining Panamanian Calypsonians, “Lord” Byron Downing, we can’t help but feel even more motivated and convinced that they are gone but not forgotten. We are also convinced of the great importance of preserving our wonderful Westindian heritage here in Panama and for the entire world to recognize and cherish. Continue reading