Tag Archive | "tobago"

The role of a Steelband in the Community



The Birmingham school of Pan founded and Managed byJamma gives the youngsters a chance to do a lot of team work, also gives the parents in the community a chance to get involved, playing pan, percussion instruments, making food & Costumes for the band. bringing the True culture of the Steelbands ofTrinidad and Tobago to Birmingham, the players have 24 hour access to the panyard so develop there skills very fast, every performance is full of energy and charisma.


To view The Birmingham School of Panperformance please click on link below


The band also gives members a chance to meet celebrities ,

pictured here is Rochella and Jamani Stewart after a performance at the Syphony hall with TV star Rudoplh Walker (Patrick ) from East Enders

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At the same event members meet footballer Dwight York

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The Birmingham School of Pan performance at the drum art centre playing Sugar Bum tribute to the lateGrand Master Lord Kitchener shows the energy the steelpan instrument draws out of the performers that gets injected to listeners to keep them on there feet dancing.


View Cliphttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kto33UFcgQ&feature=related

RochellaStewart also enjoying playing the tripleCelloPans, made by the late Lincoln Noel, who was one of the finest Steelpan makers in Trinidad & Tobago.The triple cello pans in a Steel orchestra are mid range pans, that play a combination of Chords, counter melodies and base lines.

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Having a organizedSteelbandis a real asset to anycommunity.

The good thing about the Steel Orchestras is they are accommodating to large numbers of people. In Trinidad & Tobago at Carnival time when bands are competing for the PanoramaCompetitionthey swell to 120.players per band, if you add the number of players & supporters/ helpers from thecommunity who a help out indifferentways the bands membership caneasilyswell to 200 plus. Having that number of people working to one gold of perfecting thediscipline and presentation of the band, doing this ritual year after year can only produce unity andpositiveresults.

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Thinking about starting a Steel band in your local community, need advice/ guidance, instruments,tuition feel free to contact Us. Click on Link below


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Growing with Pan

Growing with Pan

Growing with Pan

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.

Rochella learns the art

Rochella learns the art

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.




Young and Ready for the Stage

Young and Ready for the Stage

Jamani Young Performer.jpg

Jamani Young Performer

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.
scan0026.jpg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COGkVVjPe58&feature=related
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.

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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.
Jamani _ Rochella with Patrick.jpg


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


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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.

Mighty Jamma & Son Jamani News Picture.j

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

Demo1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OSOrymuA6A&feature=related

Demo 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vywryggbdec&feature=related

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/

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The Steelpan

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TheSteel 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,

The People Of Trinidad and Tobago went through the struggles of being beaten up and locked up by the police

for their love to develop this new musical sound.

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The colonial rulers were against the beating of drums, singing and dancing, so they successfully brain washed many of the upper-class people of society to look down on these special artistic talents the African descendents carried. Strangely enough many of the people of the Caribbean and British born west Indians, Afro Americans still have strong elements of this kind of colonial thinking still imbedded in there actions. Many times you have to explain to people that the Steel pan is a musical instrument that can be adapted to play any form ofmusic.like Jazz, Classical, Reggae, and of course lots more. So themisconception that the steelpan is a form of music isfinally broken and the awareness of the steelpan as a musical instrument is nowadays embraced all over the world with the instrument being taught in many schools &colleges, and being used in allgenres of Music.

Jamani Stewart steelpan soloist from the UK aged 13 has recently recorded his first album ” Party with Jamani” a fusion of Steelpans playing over R & B backing tracks.This albumdefiantlyshows a newgenerationof pan artist. for moreinformation & hear samples of Jamani’s musicplease visit


Jamani young steelpan soloist from UK

For more information on Steelpan Workshops & Performance’s please visit http://www.jammasteelpan.net/

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Mighty Jamma UK'S NO1 Recording Steelpan Artist

The mighty Jamma

The mighty Jamma


Mighty Jamma UK’S NO1 Recording Steelpan Artist

Jamma started playing music at a very early age, jamming on pots and pans etc. When I was 9 years oldI moved on to playing the bass guitar and at the age of 11I moved on to playing the steelpan and since thenI have never looked back.The pan is such a wonderful sounding instrument, which gave me a burning desire to play it to levels of excellence.

This certainly payed off with the winnings of three (1987 1998, 1999)National Steel Band Soloist

Championship of Great Britain.

After this I took up more of a commercial look at the music.I was producing and performing at many corporate events such as weddings, parties, oncruise ships etc, but stilllooking for a bigger musical outlet for my talents.

The 1990’s saw the birth of theJamma Caribbean Jazz Band. Using the steelpan as a lead instrument, mixed with the sounds of double bass, piano and saxaphones giving a new flavour to UK’s Jazz festivals.I would regularly perform at clubs like Ronnie Scotts, The Jazz Cafe, The Cork jazz festival, performing with some of the greats such asCourtney Pine, Richard Bailey, Wayne Batchelor,to name a few, that brought my performances to another level.



To View Jamma Caribbean jazz bandin Concert click on link below


Pan In Flight, Jamma and Friends Albums are great demonstrations of some of my compositions played by great international musicians. Performing in many different countries like Trinidad,Japan, many places in Europe and the UK really helped to bring the great wonderful sounds of the pan to a wider audience.

Mighty Jamma in Japan Video to view click link below


Bumcy Party Carnival Action DVD

Bumcy Party

Bumcy Party

Other songs like Bumcy Party, Dancing, have proved to be real party hits. Bumcy party DVD is currently shown on Sky TV, Actv channel.

Mighty Jamma Bumcy Party Music Video to view click on linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcIqjpdVAQ0

Other albums like Cool Evenings part 1 & 2, Relaxing Nights 1 & 2 also Have proved to be very calm and relaxing. These albums have defiantly proved to be very popular in promoting the Steelpans out of the Carnival arena

To hear a few samples of some of Mighty Jamma’s Recordings click on links below

Romantic Steelpan Music Cool Evenings II http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6R5LwSr51E

Mighty JammaTraditional mellow Caribbean CD’S http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMxZry26r3c

Mighty Jamma Relaxing Steelpan Music CD’S http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23EIVZy4GEo

The Birmingham School of pan (BSP) came about due to the demand by youngsters inthe community wanting to play the instrument. Jamani, my son, who was 7 at the time, had been learning to play and has been performing on the pan for some time. Jamani is an excellent player, he is loved by everyone who sees him perform, watch this space for more on Jamani the young Pan wizard.When he would be out playing or practicing in the garden at home all his friends would come round and want to play.

Birmingham School of Pan Live link


Steel band

Steel band

Next step was to hire a studio, get instruments and start teaching. This proved to be very successful with the youngsters performing on TV, Radio Stations including the BBC Web site, News papers, theBSP has also performed for Sir Viv Richards,Brian Lara, performed at the Notting Hill Carnival,The Birmingham Carnival, The NEC, Symphony Hall and many more venues.

I am at the moment working on some great new albums. BSP are actively performing and taking on new members turning them in to performers.

Good news on just completing my latest Album Reggae pan Classics II this album is very up beat, and marries the culturesof Trinidad and Jamaica to produce a real fresh summer sound. for more info please visit

Reggae Pan Classic Volume II for sample click on linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsFH8FtVBPg

If you like any of the music you have heard on this site and would like to place an order please click on the following link http://www.jammasteelpan.net/products.htm


Mighty Jamma Carnival Interview to view click link Below


For all other general inquires, bookings/workshops please visit http://www.jammasteelpan.net/index.htm

Or you may wish to call Jamma on+ 44 (0) 077 9944 2277 or +44 (0)121 358 4525

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