Phase II Pan Groove
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PHASE II PAN GROOVE, celebrating forty-one years in 2013, was formed in August 1972 by a small group of innovative musicians, out of Starlift Steel Orchestra, who were seeking to produce a more creative sound on pan, by experimenting not only with different types of music, but also with the combined effects of contemporary instruments and pan. The original founding members were Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Barry Howard, Andy Phillips, Selwyn Tarradath, Noel Seon and Rawle Mitchell.
Undoubtedly, the most distinguishing feature about Phase II Pan Groove is the fact that, from its inception, the bold decision was taken to promote the performing of original compositions in steelband competitions, earlier pioneered by Ray Holman. In keeping with this policy, the band consistently elected to perform pieces specifically composed and arranged for the instrument, by its charismatic leader and Musical Director Len “Boogsie” Sharpe.
Despite this calculated disadvantage, Phase II, after an initial period of non-acceptance, was able to gain some recognition as from 1977, when the band captured its first North Zonal title, and thereafter emerged as Champions of the North for a then unprecedented four consecutive years (1986-1989), eventually creating history in 1987 by becoming the first unsponsored band to win the national Panorama competition, as well as the first band to do so performing its own tune. This feat was repeated in 1988, and from that year, the band has very rarely placed lower than in the top three positions, including its most recent national titles in 2005, 2006, 2008, and this year, 2013.
At the Steelband Musical Festival, “Boogsie” has been dubbed the Mozart of Pan by foreign adjudicators, as his compositions have been able to stand alongside those of the great classical masters. This was evident at the Festival of 1986, when the band captured third place, performing “Dance of the Douens” composed by “Boogsie.”
Over the years Phase II has toured extensively throughout North America, the Caribbean, Europe, South Africa and Japan, and had the distinction of being part of the cultural contingent that accompanied our Soca Worriers to the Football World Cup in Germany 2006. Its virtuoso Musical Director, generally regarded as the world’s premier panist, along with his acknowledged genius as a composer and arranger, has toured extensively around the world as a solo artist, sharing stages with some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians, including legendary jazz drummer Max Roach. He has been inducted as an honorary distinguished fellow of the University of Trinidad and Tobago where he now teaches musical improvisation, and was awarded the Chaconia Silver Medal in 1988 and the Humming Bird Medal Gold at the 2009 awards ceremony, for his contribution to the art form.
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Phase II in Pictures - 2014
- 2013 - Len “Boogsie” Sharpe
Manager: Errol Skerritt
|Phase II Pan Groove was formed in 1972 in Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain, by a group of panmen from the Starlift Steelband that included leader and tuner Michael Phillips and arranger Lennox "Boogsie" Sharpe. Its formation created new opportunities for young music arrangers such as Sharpe to display their talents. Since many of the founders had spent numerous years with other steelbands, they considered the new band to be Phase II of their careers, and the band was named accordingly. The original intent was to concentrate on dance (groovy) music and "groove" was incorporated into the band's name. With Sharpe's musical arrangements, the band won seven Panorama titles in 1987, 1988, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013, and 2014. The band gained the sponsorship of Petrotrin in the late-1990s, and later Digicel in 2006. Phase II finished among the top three steelbands in the following significant competition:|
|Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit|