Steelpan Arranger
Edwin Pouchet - Steelpan Music Arranger

Edwin Pouchet

The late Edwin Pouchet - Silver Stars - Kaztzenjammers
Picture by WST
Panorama Championships
Trinidad & Tobago - 2009, 2010

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“Edwin grew up in pan. His brother, Junior, was the arranger of a steel band that practiced for hours when preparing for a music festival or Carnival in the backyard of his home, at 195 Western Main Road, Cocorite. He was so fascinated with the music that after the players left, he would take up the pan sticks and try to pick out the melodies he had heard. He credits his mother whose love for the steel band inspired him, but it was not until 1970 with his mother’s assistance, that he started to sneak out to practice with the Silver Stars. History records that year Desperadoes came first playing Kitchener’s Margie. Starlift placed second with Sparrow’s Pan man. Silver Stars tied with Invaders for third. Invaders played Margie and Silver Stars played Simple Calypso by Blakie.

In 1974, Junior received a contract from Bermuda and later Disney World. This meant that a new arranger would be needed for the Silver Stars. A good choice was Edwin but the transition from Junior Pouchet to Edwin Pouchet was a very traumatic experience. The band’s players did not want any other arranger, choosing instead to play the same tunes until Junior returned to Trinidad for the Carnival. Many left until the band went into a period of dormancy around 1976

In 1986 a small group of former players decided to revive the band. There were several arrangers at that time including Lloyd Payne, Sonny Ottley, Michael Figuera and Edwin himself. Edwin began as an assistant to the others and eventually inherited the role of arranger. Initially the band focused on the music arranged by Junior. Edwin loved the vintage material but felt that they needed to develop a new repertoire relating to the present. Edwin was fully supported by his brother, Junior, in terms of the band moving forward.

Fans still requested the signature tunes, but they mixed it nicely with the new material. Edwin collaborated with his brother and received helpful hints on arranging. Junior’s philosophy was that of clarity, especially with the melody line.

Today the Pan and Parang series has set the band in a class by itself in terms of its ability to organize pan yard events that help to make the band self-sufficient. Edwin revealed that popular painter and parang musician, Alfred Cadallo was his uncle. This influenced the Pan and Parang events as a tribute to Junior and Alfred, his mother’s brother. He attributes the success of these events to the professionalism he acquired from travelling and witnessing how events were structured especially at Disney World.”

 
 

 


 
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