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Thread: R.I.P. Kelvin Hart a.k.a. Steel Drum

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    R.I.P. Kelvin Hart a.k.a. Steel Drum

    The steelpan is now the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. The instrument progressed from adversity to relative prosperity in a short space of time due to the extreme dedication of members of the fraternity. Steelbands are to be found in rapidly increasing numbers in many parts of the world and the instrument has been accepted by music educators as an ideal tool for music instruction for beginners.

    All this might not have been possible had it not been for the foresight of members of the newly-founded steelband association in 1950. Formed under pressure from the authorities who wished to curb the escalating incidence of steelband violence, they immediately launched themselves into a project to send a representative steelband to the Festival of Britain in 1951.

    They selected 12 panmen from among the member bands and had them trained under the guidance of Lt Joseph Griffith of the Trinidad & Tobago Police band. The young men chosen for this important task were Sterling Betancourt, Ellie Mannette, Sonny Roach, Anthony Williams, Winston "Spree" Simon, Philmore "Boots" Davidson, Ormand "Patsy" Haynes, Kelvin Hart, Theo Stevens, Belgrave Bonaparte, Andrew "Pan" De Labastide and Granville Sealey.

    Sealey dropped out early and Sonny Roach fell ill on the boat and had to be put off at Martinique and eventually sent home. They were the cream of the crop, all crack shot panmen, pan tuners and band leaders in their own right. Lt Griffith and Lennox Pierre taught them the rudiments of music and Lt Joseph, shocked to learn that the pans were not achromatized, began the task of putting together a real orchestra from the hodgepodge of instruments that were assembled before him. This was the genesis of the steel orchestra as we now know it.

    Kelvin Hart lived to be 79 years young. He was a very nice man. He is with Jah now. Brother Bob jast got the "Best".....He had a good life. Thanks, Kelvin , Jah Love.

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    Big ups to di man, Kelvin Hart....RIP....LOVE steel pan music

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