Toussaint Clarke

Toussaint Clarke

Toussaint Clarke

Manufacturer, Tuner, Arranger, Musician with Pitch Perfect 

Toussaint first played pan in 1968. A year later at age 12, he began tuning pans. His teachers were Theo Stephens from Trinidad and Halam Ifill from Barbados. Although Toussaint was born in England and spent the majority of his life in Bath, England, his family originates from Barbados. 

As well as making and tuning their pans, Toussaint is a key member of the Rainbow Steel Orchestra formerly known as the Barbados All Stars. Rainbow Steel Orchestra is celebrating their 60thanniversary in 2015. Toussaint has taught the steelpan artform to players in bands hailing from Dartmouth, Penzance, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Swindon.

His tuning skills have been honed from years of practice and a well developed sense of pitch. Every pan made by him is a work of art. Toussaint has developed successful working relationships with UK pan tuner/manufacturer, Dudley Dickinson, Tony Slater and the grand father of steelpan, Earl Rodney.

He specialises in teaching the art form to secondary school students from an Introductory workshop to public performances. He demands a lot from his students but in return they will learn the many skills needed to play pan very quickly. The students work primarily as a group with Toussaint developing team spirit, providing encouragement, motivation and a wealth of knowledge to draw upon whilst building close working relationships with the students and the staff. 

His global involvement with the steelpan has enabled his students to participate in joint events involving up to 7 of his bands as well as participating in the UK National Panorama, Notting Hill Carnival and collaborating with other groups such as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Toussaint can produce interesting and challenging arrangements from any genre of music, from his interpretation of the latest tunes from Trinidad to classical pieces by composers such as Mozart or Bach, from reggae favourites to contemporary 'pop' chart releases. He returns to his ancestral home at least once a year where he collects the latest arrangements of Soca and Calypso releases that soon find their way into the English pan scene through Toussaint and others.

Toussaint is a founder member and vice –chair of the UK Pan Tuners Guild. He is extremely active in all steelband activities and is truly passionate about the culture, its identity, continuity and continued development.   

His involvement in the culture has seen him forged strong and bountiful relationships with steel pan tuners, steelbands managers, arrangers and players worldwide.