Legends display ‘Rainbow of Colors’

Legends Stars Steel Orchestra practicing for the carnival season.
Photo by Nelson A. King

Masqueraders are expected to display a “Rainbow of Colors” as Legends Stars Steel Orchestra bang out Caribbean rhythms in the J’ouvert Competition.

“We do it for the fun of it,” said founder and manager Trinidadian Joe Gabriel in a Caribbean Life interview at the pan yard on East 49th Street and Avenue D in Brooklyn, adding that “Rainbow of Colors” reflects “the design of the materials, which come from Trinidad.”

“We don’t make anything out of it,” continued Gabriel, who hails from the eastern district of San Juan, referring to participation in the competition. “Whatever money we make, we put it back in the band.”

He said the band, which is named after “the older guys who played for bands in Trinidad and Tobago for many years,” comprises 18 members, with 30-40 costumed masqueraders and others in T-shirts.

Gabriel said each of the 20 steel bands that participate in J’ouvert is escorted by about eight police officers and a sergeant, who remain with the band throughout the competition.

“We go out there and have a lot of fun,” Gabriel said. “We do it because we want everybody to have fun. After that, we have a big ‘Thank You’ party for everybody.”

Gabriel can be reached at (917) 371-9280.

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