Jeff Narell is an
internationally known steel panist, Afro-Caribbean
percussionist, educator-clinician, and recording artist who
has dedicated his life to promoting the artform and
expanding the musical range of the steel pan.
Jeff was initiated into the world of steel pan at the age of
eleven by the very first West Indians to arrive in New York
City with authentic knowledge. Pan became his passion and a
gift that he has passed down to new generations. In schools
from elementary through university, and through music
programs under the auspices of the San Francisco Symphony
Education Department, Jeff has introduced tens of thousands
of students to steel pans.
Equally at home with the traditional steel band or as a
soloist in contemporary musical settings, he has played on
four big box office Hollywood movies, worked with Olatungi,
Bobby McFerrin, George Benson, The Grateful Dead and
appeared as guest artist-composer on the Grammy nominated
Patato, Changuito, Vilato: Rhythm at the Crossroads CD in
the Latin Jazz category. Narell received the Hollywood
Dramalogue award for best theatrical score for The Tempest
commissioned by the California Shakespeare Co.
Jeff’s original composition “Ellie Man” was a top tune
played by steel orchestras island wide for Trinidad Carnival
2003. A tribute to his mentor, Ellie Mannette, the father of
the modern steel pan, it was sung and recorded in
collaboration with Trini calypso star Crazy and performed by
Ellie’s original steel orchestra, Invaders, at Panorama. The
tune of choice by steel orchestras in five countries, Ellie
Man captured the crown in Toronto’s Caribana Festival.
Performing live and producing his original CDs, Jeff
continues to forge a unique musical vision with pan.