PAN IN UNITY
The Steelpan, also known as the Steel Drum, was born in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago and is hailed as the country’s national instrument. In just 75 years, the steelpan artform has rapidly spread to the four corners of the globe where people from all over the world are now playing in
steel bands and choosing the steelpan as their musical voice.
As amazing and groundbreaking the Steelpan Instrument is, with its angelic sounds and
spiritual vibrations, Trinidad & Tobago’s gift to the world goes much deeper than what appears
on the surface.
Born from humble beginnings, the extraordinary vision was dreamed up from disenfranchised youth that were from some of the most impoverished areas of Trinidad that endured struggle and hardships all the while of not being accepted by the middle and upper classes. Now, just a few short decades later the steelpan is being played on stages in almost every country throughout the entire world.
The steel band’s sense of belonging and community is at the heart of the artform’s foundation
and history. That being said, “Pan In Unity” sees the Steelpan Artform as the perfect blueprint for setting an example of the possibilities of what Unity and Sense of Community can aspire to be.
The PAN IN UNITY TEAM
Internationally recognized Pannists in demand, Tracy Thornton (www.panrocks.com),
Dr. Mia Gormandy-Benjamin (www.miagormandy.com), and Yuko Asada (www.yukoasada.com) have joined together to combine their diverse backgrounds in the steelpan artform and years of experience in performance, education, composition/arrangement/transcription, research and construction to create the “Pan in Unity” project! Each pannist from the team has successfully produced video performance projects that have
brought pannists from across the globe to perform together. Pan Rocks Quarantine Steelpan Jam, produced by Tracy, featured over 100 players from 8 countries, and Virtual Steelband I and II,
produced by Mia, Yuko, and others featured over 300 players from 11 countries!
Click on the pictures below for more information on the team members
Dr. Mia Gormandy-Benjaman
Len "Boogsie" Sharpe
A living legend, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe has been in the forefront of the steelpan artform as a performer, composer and arranger. He has written many works for various steelbands in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and abroad, most notably for the Phase II Pan Groove.