One of the oldest surviving steel bands in the Caribbean, the Amoco Renegades (also known as the Renegades Steel Orchestra) have been exciting listeners with their high-energy fusion of calypso, zouk, merengue, soca, and samba for more than half a century. Although they did not make the finals of the National Panorama Competition until 1976, when they took second place with their tune "Statue," the ensemble has won the competition 16 times since the mid-'80s. The group also received a Port of Spain City Corporation Award in 1986, a Pan Trinibago Award for outstanding contribution to the development of the steel band and a Sunshine Award from the United States in 1990, and a National Chaconia Gold Medal in 1992. Sponsored by the Amoco Energy Company of Trinidad and Tobago since 1970, the Amoco Renegades usually perform with 15 musicians. The ranks have increased, however, to as many as 120 musicians for Carnival performances. Touring since 1960, the group has performed in the United States, Japan, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Venezuela, Bulgaria, and Romania. The band was the opening act at the Nelson Mandela Welcome Rally at Yankee Stadium in 1990. The sound of the Amoco Renegades reflects the vision of arranger Jit Samaroo, who joined in 1971. The group collaborated with Jean-Michel Jarre to record an album, While Waiting for Cousteau, in 1989.
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