The Steel pan is a beautiful creation originated in Trinidad & Tobago in the late 19.30’s and is the only orchestral family of acoustic musical instruments to be invented in the 20th century. With instruments ranging from low bass to high sopranos, all made out of the same raw material (oil drums) makes this invention a magnificent achievement for people of Trinidad & Tobago.
Jamani Stewart was introduced to the Steel pans at a very young age, due to the fact that I, “Jamma” played the Steel pans, and had first hand experience of the benefits of playing music from a young age, felt it essential to pass on the skills to his Children.
By time Jamani was 11 months old he was making his own beat box rhythms with his mouth, what was so amazing was the fact his rhythmic timing of his beats were so interesting, creative and steady to the beat. All this happened before he could talk.
As time went on Jamani “the same as most babies” loved tapping beats on the tables and walls and was showing a great interest to music. His Mum and I would encourage Jamani and his sister Rochella using spoons as sticks have little jam sessions on pots and pans, basins, they loved hearing the different tones that could be produced using simple household materials as instruments.
At two years old Jamani was brought a little plastic drum set to channel his drumming skills, and save our walls, and furniture from being marked up. As he developed his skills he was encouraged to play in church. At three years old he did his first public performance at the Jamma Caribbean musical extravaganza, held at the Midlands Art Centre Cannon Hill Park Birmingham. It was amazing to see that in front of approximately two and half thousand people, he did not show a hint of nervousness.
Throughout this time Jamani was always hearing me practice and performing shows on the Steel pans. Both Jamani and Rochella were allowed to play the pans once they learned the instrument had to be played softly and gracefully.
Rochella Stewart learning how to play softly.
Once they had learnt how to play softly, they could do little exercises to develop pitch and melodies , as time went on we found Jamani would gravitate to the pan’s more, and started teaching himself simple melodies like, Happy birthday, when the saints, go marching in, The Pink Panther and many more tunes.
After seeing all these signs of musical ability at 6 years old I could see it was time to start developing his repertoire, starting with songs like “what a friend we have in Jesus”, and brushing up on songs like “When the saints”, as well as others, it was soon time for him to start gigging.
His Mum Angela, made him his first costume, and he was more than ready to hit the stage.
|Jamani at 7 years old was proving to be very comfortable on stage .
To view a live performance of 7 year old Jamani performing at the Merryhill Shopping Centre please click on link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGscGPoK-7w
|As time went on He would do regular solo performance at church and various functions, developing a widerverityof music at a young age proved to be more rewarding. He would also do regular performance with dad this help to develop things like improvising and ear training.|
|We soon found out he had the gift of perfect pitch and could mimic phrase’s instantly.||To view live video of Jamani & Dad performing together please click on link above.|
|Check out 9 year old Jamani playing now is the time “Jazz piece by Charlie Parker”
to view click linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwOTP7keFYk&feature=related
|When I founded the Birmingham school of pan, to teach local children the art of playing the steel pans, Jamani and Rochella would love to perform along side there friends in various carnivals.Playing in the blazing sun the hours were long and tiring but the sound of the steel pan kept them going.|
|Playing in the band gives members a chance to meet celebrities, pictured here is Rochella and Jamani after a performance at the Birmingham Symphony hall with TV star Rudolph Walker,
(Patrick ) from EastEnders.
|Picture above was taken in Trinidad TV studios, after performance by 3 Steel pan solo artist. Jamani Stewart, “UK’S young Steel pan Soloist” with one of “Trinidad & Tobago’s top Steel pan soloist”Dane Gulston & myself Mighty Jamma, “UK’S No1 Steel pan Soloist Champion”, with Alison Hennessey Trinidad and Tobago TV presenter|
Sometimes Jamani would be a bit shy to the real discipline it takes to learn a piece to performance standard so sometimes at rehearsals if I was looking the other way he would make a run for it, upstairs or out the back door, and would love when I had to chase and catch him and bring him back to the pan. But we took our time just learning a little more each day, we could defiantly see the repertoire growing to the extent were he was performing more solo gigs at schools and various functions. He was also developing the skill of addressing his audience in a more professional way.
By time Jamani was 9 years old he had developed an extraordinary gift to play jazz music and improvise he also new exactly when the song was going to finish.
Jamani being a solo performer means you have to rely on yourself to run the show, were as in a band you have other musicians to help you out, which is all good as in developing team work skills, so getting the corrected balance between solo performances and band work, are essential skills for a young growing musician.
Jamani has performed at many venues, like the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham Symphony Hall, the National indoor arena, to mention a a few, he has traveled to Africa, Trinidad, Guernsey, and many more places.. Also he has done many Radio and TV performances, recorded TV Advert for the Saint Kits and Nevis Jazz festival, performed on live TV in Trinidad & Tobago the home of the Steel pans
To View 12 year old Jamani Performing On Children’s BBC click on link below
The Steel pan as a solo instrument is capable of playing many different forms of music The lay out of notes on the Tenor pan (Soprano) Jamani is performing on is set to a circle of 4th & 5th. the one pan carries 29 different notes and was discovered by Trinidad Genius Tony Williams. Many Steel pan soloists thrive to perform and improvise over well known jazz standards.
To view video of 14 year old Jamani improvising & rehearsing a piece called “Meditation” please click on link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKEw3AVNl8w&feature=related
Due to the fact the steel pan is a melodic percussive instrument it is very important to understand Melodies, Chords, & Harmonies as well as different kinds of beats & rhythms .Playing drums can be very helpful to develop the rhythmic understanding. Drumming also helps develop better wrist action for control of speed,dynamics & rolling notes.
Jamani started playing drums from 3 years old, and has always kept that passion with him. the next video clip was recorded at perry beaches school concert were Jamani played drums with his friends & Asian dhol drummers
to view15 year old Jamani,s performance on drums please click on link below
Jamani Stewart as a young steelpan soloist has adapted the use of the instrument to perform songs that people in his age group would recognises, creating a refreshing mix of contemporary R & B, hip-hop, dancehall and reggae, performing songs by artistes like R. Kelly, Sean Paul, Akon,T.O.K,
|As well as performing traditional calypso, jazz Ballard is helping to bring the steel pan to new audiences. As a young steelpan ambassador he has found the instrument is very popular with staff and pupil at his secondary school perry beaches.|
Jamani with Proud Dad “Mighty Jamma”
|Jamani started recording his first album at 12 years old and completed it by 13th birthday. he was quite impressed to see how his brand of steelpan music was received by people world wide, he also enjoyed TV coverage
To View Jamani in Action on Central News please click on link below
|Coming from a musical family has help contribute in many different areas,. Jamani’s two uncles as well as Dad are very involved in the music also, UncleBarry (MACKADUB) Stewart help with all the technical Recording and production side of the album, Uncle Norman ( Pan Maestro ) Stewart Tune’s the Steel pans, and his Dad Jamma Stewart is UK’S No1 Steel pan Soloist Champion, so a lot of input from different directions has contributed to the production, not forgetting his sister Rochella Stewart who also plays the pans, and did all the art work for the CD. & Mom who makes his costumes for public performances.
Team work is always a good thing, when Jamani performs with his dad he gets a chance to explore new musical ideas with improvisation and melodies and understanding the language of music in deeper depths.Check out this on rehearsed performance of improvisation on the stop with Jamani & his Dad.
To view video click on link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPb7Dpi8X4c
Jamani also loves rapping and is a well known in artist in grime and goes under the name of J Marnz and is a group called Tinyan.Check out J marnz in 5 star media video shoot . click link below to view
Jamani has actively been a pioneer for the new electronic steelpan midi controllers, these instruments have notes laid out the same as an original steelpan but can be hooked up to a computer and used to play different sounds, like piano, trumpets, drums, etc.
At 12 Years old Jamani was commissioned by Alternate mode the makers of the PANKAT to do a video.
To View Jamani on PANKAT click on Link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1r_MGuUjq8
Recently Jamani had the pleasure of meeting the inventor of the newepan (electronicpan )Salmon Cupid, who also asked Jamani to make a video demonstration of the epan. These instruments are not replacements for the traditional Steelpans, but can be very useful for studio work when building tracks.
To View Jamani Demonstrate the epan click on links below
It was a pleasure to see Jamani getting awarded at school for outstanding musical achievements
To hear sample’s of Jamani please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU2MCElFXrU
For information general inquires, on workshops/ performances please http://www.jammasteelpan.net/