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Caribbean

Published on August 21st, 2014 | by Angela Fox

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Ainsley Mark, ardent pan supporter and promoter, passes

The pan culture lost one of its most passionate boosters  with the passing  in Trinidad Tuesday afternoon, August 19, of Ainsley Mark, head of the QRC Foundation which for two decades has annually presented the Trinidad and Tobago Pan Jazz Festival.  Mr. Mark died after having been reported ailing in recent months.

A longtime lover of pan music, Mr. Mark’s interest in the art form was at times manifested in his personal association with steel band groups in a manager/mentor type role. But his most lasting and significant involvement was undoubtedly in the Pan Jazz Festival which the QRC Foundation used as a fund-raising vehicle for famed Queen’s Royal College in Port of Spain. His enthusiastic championing of pan was the impetus for the festival, and he was personally involved in its planning and execution.

Besides featuring many of the best known local steel orchestras in the festival, Mr. Mark arranged for some of the most prominent instrumentalists, both in Trinidad and Tobago and abroad, to showcase their  talents  on the festival stages. The list includes Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Robert Greenidge, Rudy Smith, Andy Narell,  Ray Holman, Annise Hadeed and others. The concerts also included many jazz/R&B vocalists from the U.S. and elsewhere.

Mr. Mark, who had a long professional career as a chartered accountant, and was for years one of the principals in a Port of Spain-based accounting firm, also served for one term as a senator in the Trinidad and Tobago parliament

 


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