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Caribbean

Published on April 1st, 2015 | by The Trinidad Guardian

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Pan Jumbie

Her e-mail address, steelpanlady@… is the handle which epitomises the passion for which yet another non-national, though resident in T&T, has for our national instrument. Enamoured by the pan since her first introduction to the instrument back in the 1980s at Northern Illinois University, Dr Jeannine Remy, senior lecturer in music, Department of Creative and Festival Arts at UWI, St Augustine, has recently completed, with another non-national, retired judge Ray Funk from Alaska, the 75-year history of the Invaders Steelband. This publication is ready to go to print but is awaiting sponsorship for its initial print run, an exercise that is taking a lot longer than anticipated.

At UWI she teaches courses in percussion, pan (arranging, literature, history), world music, and musics of the Caribbean. Many of Dr Remy’s compositions for pan can be found in the UWI Pan exam books that the Department of Creative and Festival Arts/DCFA created to promote music literacy. Her first trip to Trinidad was in 1989 as part of her doctoral research at the University of Arizona. Since then, she has received numerous faculty research grants, including a Fulbright in 2000-2001 to research and archive Trinidad’s pan music.

In 2003, she shipped what remained of her private collection of instruments in a container from Idaho to the pan theatre at UWI and thus started the UWI Percussion Ensemble, a dream come true for this self-confessed “pan jumbie.” Prior to that, she had arrived in Trinidad with her two children and six suitcases.

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