Damany “BoB” James was born to Kenwayne and Shellyann James on July 23, 1996. Damany walks in his Trinidadian descent proudly as an arranger in the Brooklyn steelband community. Damany found interest in arranging from playing Panorama with CASYM (Arr. Arddin Herbert) Steel Orchestra during his early stages in steel pan.
Damany started playing pan in 2007 under the leadership of Tichard Chapman. In 2008, Damany became a member of the Higher Levin Steel Orchestra where he learned to be a better leader, musician and arranger. Damany’s first arrangement was a song sung by Patrice Roberts & Kerwin Du Bois titled ‘I Am Soca.’ Since then, his love and passion for the instrument and arranging have grown immensely. Damany and his group of loyal friends are the current champions of both the 2016 & 2017 Junior Pan Fest competition in New York. Along with playing and arranging, Damany has also been an active educator on the Trinidadian culture and history of the steel pan. He has been teaching Pan in after school programs, as well as conducting beginner steel band classes and one-on-one lessons through his very own “BoB’s Music.” initiative.
Damany is now the Musical Director for Verona Steel Orchestra under the management of Hayden Lynch. Damany and Hayden met in the Despers USA panyard while preparing for Junior Pan Fest 2017. Mr. Lynch was impressed by the way Damany carried himself and the way he controlled and maintained discipline of the band. He arranged for and directed Verona Steel Orchestra at 2018 ‘Pan Is Sweet.’ Damany’s vision is to expand the avenues of the steel pan. He believes there is so much more to come from this sacred instrument.
When Damany is not behind a pan or in front of a band, you can find him behind a drum set or piano. For some being a musician might be fun, but for Damany “It’s more than just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.”