Ebonites Steel Orchestra
Tune of choice: “Last Fete” | arranger: Dayne “Wadeka” Gomes
THE EBONITES STEEL ORCHESTRA was formed in the lower Ottos area in the year 1974. For a couple of months, the band went without a real name. The first was Triolions, but a few of the members were not happy with it. First captain, Mr. Melvin Parks, came up with a solution one night, suggesting that the band be named for ‘Ebony’ magazine. Since then, it’s been known as Ebonites.
During the 70’s, the band was one of the most preferred on the road. Hundreds would flock to the pan yard, waiting for the jam to begin.
The band, like everything else, has had its ups and downs. Ebonites toured the Virgin Islands, namely St Croix, from late 1976 to early 1980. They caused quite a stir, and, because of their influence, helped form a steel band in St. Croix named Ebonites as well.
Ebonites, in 1977, was the first Antiguan steel band to use an original tune to win Panorama; since then the band has placed first runner-up on a couple of occasions, but has never won again. The band also worked on an album in 1979, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the album never materialized. A demo was done, but it is not known what became of it.
Following its last tour of St. Croix, in early 1980, the band broke up, and it was not until late 1988 to early 1989, that three of the old members got together and re-formed the band.
From since its inception a lot of notable pan men both here and abroad have passed through Ebonites, which has taught hundreds.
Arrangers have included Marlow Dyer, Dayne Gomes, Kemoye Thomas and Aubrey ‘Lacu’ Samuel.
Source: In Tune With Pan magazine, publication of the Cultural Development Division - Ministry of Education, Human Development & Culture, Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. 2008
- 2016 - Dayne “Wadeka” Gomes
- 2015 - Dayne “Wadeka” Gomes
- 2014 - Dayne “Wadeka” Gomes