Steel band icon refuses to accept termination of contract: Mighty Dow makes statement at Great Bay Beach Hotel

POSTED: 01/22/13 12:48 PM

St. Maarten/By Hilbert Haar – The Mighty Dow’s Ebony Steel Band showed up for a performance at the Great Bay Beach Hotel last night, days after the hotel management unceremoniously terminated the band’s service.

Isidore York played for more than 22 years at the hotel and he refused to accept the termination of his services. Supported by his father, Elton Jones, Tochie Meyers and band members, Dow talked to the hotel management but to no avail.
Security made an attempt to remove the band from the premises, but Meyers told a guard that the steel pan players were not going anywhere.
The band was scheduled to start playing at 8 p.m.  Dow was already upset when the hotel notified him a couple of days before Christmas Eve that his presence was not required. Instead, a band from Jamaica – the Silver Birds – performed that night.
Meyers told the security guard that the band would follow instructions from the police. The arrival of the men in blue was delayed because they had their hands full with a fight in St. Peters.
“They won’t achieve anything this way,” the guard said.  At 8.10 the police arrived and Meyers went into a discussion with them. Hotel manager Carl Bourne and his security manager joined the discussion. The police did not remove the band from the premises but urged Dow and the hotel management to come to an agreement in the next couple of days. The band left voluntarily after playing for half an hour.
Bourne said that parties would talk but that he is not the one taking decisions about the steel band’s future at the hotel. Another manager who is expected on the island tomorrow will deal with the matter. Bourne said he has no problem with Dow. “I like him. But this is not the way to handle this, showing up with nine, ten people in our lobby.”
Dow said he was satisfied with the evening. “We made a statement. Now we’ll see what will happen next.

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Comments (3)


  1. Jack Rinaldi says:

    I hope their differences are resolved…..they are both important assets to the tourism product.

  2. Lemon says:

    Why does Dow have this sense of entitlement ? If his services are no longer required, accept it graciously……..and leave.
    It’s not his hotel, he is a regular contractor working there whose services are no longer required.
    Tochie Meyers??? Is that for the purpose of bullying the hotel?? Really????

  3. Kofi Walker says:

    I am just learning of this incident… I thought it was only recently as in July 2013 only to discover that it has been going on since Christmas 2012…! Hmmm

    Sadly Mighty Dow you seem to be targeting a group of young Jamaicans who showed up in St. Maarten with New Ideas with regards to the dilivery of “Steel Band Orchestra” Performance; and for what over a contract with Sonesta… That I think is sad… and having read this article I am justified in thinking that people when set in their way “cultural / religious etc;” it is difficult to introduce new concepts to them.

    In all my travels I have never seen a steel band orchestra perform with so much energy. enthusiasm, creativity and acrobatic accompaniment while still engaging the audience with music.

    It is not unusual for Jamaicans to find themselves in hot water in St. Maarten, over their own Talent.

    Well don Mighty Dow but Excellent work SILVER BIRD STEEL BAND ORCHESTRA…

    Don’t be sad about it… you did a great job!