The Trinidad All-Steel Percussion Orchestra (TASPO) was formed to participate in the Festival of Britain in 1951. The group was the first steelband to travel abroad from Trinidad and Tobago, presenting the newly invented steelpan to an international audience.
Lieutenant Joseph Nathaniel Griffith was the conductor of the band. Griffith was originally part of the Trinidad Police Band.
|Orman "Patsy" Haynes||Casablanca||1930/02/22||1985/10/29|
|Elliot "Ellie" Mannette||Invaders||1927/11/05|
|Belgrave Bonaparte||Southern Symphony||1932|
|Anthony "Tony" Williams||North Stars||1931/06/24|
|Carlton "Sonny" Roach||Sun Valley||1924/08/06||1986|
|Philmore "Boots" Davidson||City Syncopators||1928||1993|
|Andrew "Pan" de la Bastide||Chicago||1927/12/01||2002/11/17|
|Dudley Smith||Rising Sun|
|Winston "Spree" Simon||Fascinators (Tokyo)||1930||1976/11/18|
|Theophilus "Black James" Stephens||Free French||1933/11/04||2001/11/06|
On 6 July 1951, TASPO left Trinidad for England on the SS San Mateo. Carlton "Sonny" Roach fell ill and was left behind in Martinique. The steelband performed at the South Bank, London, on 26 July 1951, as well as elsewhere in Britain and in Paris. TASPO returned to Trinidad on 12 December 1951, the only exception being Sterling Betancourt, who stayed in London. Betancourt has been vitally involved in building up Notting Hill Carnival.
- Felix I. R. Blake, The Trinidad and Tobago Steel Pan. History and Evolution. ISBN 0-9525528-0-9
- Stephen Stuempfle, The Steelband Movement: The Forging of a National Art in Trinidad and Tobago (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995).
- George Goddard, Forty Years in the Steelbands: 1939 - 1979.
- http://www.bestoftrinidad.com/steelband50s.html "Steelband 1950 - 1959"]
- YouTube clip from BBC2 documentary "The 1951 Festival of Britain - A Brave New World" (broadcast on Saturday 24 September 2011) with Sterling Betancourt talking about TASPO.
- Terry Joseph, "MBE for pan pioneer Betancourt honoured by Queen", Pantrinbago, 31 December 2001