Brighton-based multi-instrumentalist Rachel Hayward has launched her new album Red Head to unanimous critical acclaim. A steel pan (better known as the Caribbean steel drum) player of thirty years standing, Rachel has had an eclectic career being equally at home at Carnival or on the concert platform. Red Head is a celebration of women in music — the singers, songwriters, muses, religious icons, lovers and dancers — all performed by ‘Europe’s Top Pan Woman’ on what is arguably the only new chromatic and acoustic instrument of the 20th century. Named after Lord Kitchener’s calypso celebration of the flame-haired ladies, the album takes the listener on a musical and journey through varied styles and genres and amply demonstrates the pan’s capabilities for versatility and for emotional expression.
Rachel is former UK Champion Pan Soloist, and remains the only person of European descent to reach the finals of the World Soloists Championships in Trinidad. She recently performed in Luxembourg a recital of classical music on pan with Christian Wilson, organist at the Chapels Royal, Tower of London and Brasenose College, Oxford. Since the release of her last album in 2008 (Priestess of Pan - available from Rachel’s website or to listen for free on Spotify) Rachel has become the UK’s only living Doctor of Music with a specialty in pan and was invited to play with Nostalgia Steel Band as part of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. She joined Russell Henderson (Father of the Notting Hill Carnival) and his Trio as a guest artist at London’s 606 club on numerous occasions and performed a specially composed solo part in Patrick Larley’s Birmingham Spirituals. With Pan Nectar Steel Band she became the first woman of European heritage to arrange for a steel band in the Notting Hill Carnival.
“a world class exhibition of steel pan artistry … Top drawer.” – Musician magazine.
Praise for Red Head
“Wow! […] the tunes sound great! You did an amazing job of staying faithful to the originals but adding the steel drum flavour […] Bravo!” – Danny Weinkauf (Red Pants Band and They Might Be Giants)
“Chase away the winter chills with this music, songs ranging from pop to classical to calypso, with some video game and TMBG tunes for good measure! … an amazing album.” – Steve Popernack (Singing Steel Music, Panyard Inc)
“Thanks for selecting ‘Outta De Box’. Enjoyed listening to the album. Keeping playing the music.” – Mark Loquan (composer – ‘Outta De Box’)
“Wow! Potpourri of earlobe delights my god! You’re rather good what!!! It was like a mystical vortex of an eerie fairground with even a bit of Benny Hill running about with the odd ferrous rave kicking in – loved it!– Michael ‘Atters’ Attree (Chap / all-round good guy and local hero)
Listen for free on Spotify
or simply enter the search terms “Red Head” or “Rachel Hayward”
Priestess of Pan (2008)
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