The steelpan has come to represent Trinidad and Tobago’s cultural identity over time, earning recognition and reverence on a global scale. The instrument originated there in the early 1930s, the only musical instrument invented in the 20th century. It gained popularity due to its sweet, melodious sound and versatility: modern steelpans can effortlessly play different types of sounds, from traditional to pop and classical music. As such, a variety of genres, including calypso, reggae, jazz, and even classical music, have welcomed it as it crossed boundaries.

Trinidad’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Arts began a movement in 2019 to set a specific day on which to recognise the magnificent instrument, and this was approved by the Trinidad and Tobago Cabinet in 2022 following the approach to the United Nations for a declaration of World Steelpan Day.

On the 77th General Assembly sitting of the United Nations, World Steelpan Day was declared to be observed annually on 11 August, and in the twin island state will be celebrated throughout that month. In this inaugural year, Pan Trinbago, Trinidad and Tobago’s steelpan regulatory organization, will organize a variety of activities, such as church services and the Pan and Powder Steel Band Parade, to celebrate the occasion. The celebration also bring to light the rich legacy and economic prospects linked with the steelpan.

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