Steelpan Arranger
The legendary Neville Jules of Trinidad All Stars - Steelpan Arranger

Neville Jules

 

The legendary Neville Jules of Trinidad All Stars

Picture by WST
Panorama Championships

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WST Pan Photographer

bio

Neville Jules

DATE OF BIRTH: May 21, 1927
PLACE OF BIRTH: East Dry River, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
EDUCATION:
  • Gloster Lodge Moravian School
  • Eastern Boys' School
  • Rosary Boys RC School
  • STEELBANDS:
  • Hell Yard (1940s)
  • All Stars (1940s - 1970)
  • SPECIALTIES:
  • Tuner
  • Player
  • Arranger
  • CAREER:                              Jules was a Tamboo Bamboo player before he began his steelband career tuning for the Hellyard Steelband during the early 1940s. He left after a few years to form All Stars where he became captain, tuner, and arranger. He made significant contributions to the development of the pan and is credited with:
    • Tuning the first bass pan by using a caustic soda drum. He later combined two caustic drums to expand the range of the bass.
    • Tuning the first "grundig" as a background or guitar pan.

      During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Jules initiated a ritual whereby All Stars would hit the road at dawn (J'Ouvert) on Carnival Day with an interpretation of a classical music selection played to the calypso beat. Invaders led by Ellie Mannette followed suit and the selections of each band came to be known as "The Bomb." The ritual of both bands playing their "Bombs" on J'Ouvert morning attracted steelband fans from all over Trinidad. In 1971, Jules left All Stars and migrated to the USA. With the passage of time, the J'Ouvert Bomb competition was named after Neville Jules.

    AWARDS:
    • 1970 - Trinidad & Tobago Humming Bird Medal Bronze (for Steelband Music)
    • 2001 - Trinidad & Tobago Folk Institute Pan Legends Award, New York, USA
    Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit

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