Steelpan Arranger
Robert Greenidge - Steelpan Arranger
WST Pan Photographer

Robert Greenidge

Robert Greenidge - Starlift, Desperadoes, D'Radoes, Pan Knights, Moods Pan Groove (NY)
Panorama Championships
Trinidad & Tobago - 1991, 1994

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Robert Greenidge was born in Trinidad, West Indies on 28 April 1950.

He has been playing the steel drums since he was 8 years old. With an artistic ear for playing various types of compositions, he was recruited at the age of 15 by Trinidad’s leading steel orchestra “Desperadoes,” nine-time Panorama winners.

In 1970 Robert was chosen to represent Trinidad and Tobago, both as a soloist and a member of the Trinidad National Steel Orchestra.

In 1971 Greenidge moved to New York City, and soon after to Los Angeles where he mastered the art of composing and arranging at the Third Street Musical Conservatory.

His recording contracts began to mount in 1975 with various artists such as, Maurice White, Earth Wind and Fire, Harry Neilson, RCA, and John Lennon and Ringo Star of the Beatles - just to name a few.

Ever since the Trinidad Carnival of 1979, he has returned to Trinidad every year to play.

Prior to 1985 Robert had the opportunity to record an album with Jimmy Buffett. He began touring shortly after to promote the album and ever since then he's been performing and recording with the Jimmy Buffett and the “Coral Reefers Band.”

Source: Robert Greenidge's Facebook page


 

I was born in Success Village, Laventille, Trinidad, West Indies on 28 April 1950. My first playing experience came under the direction of my uncle, Carl Greenidge who was a renowned arranger and tuner. At the tender age of eight, I began executing the art of the steel drums with the Savoys Steel Orchestra.

Possessing an artistic ear for playing various types of compositions, I was recruited at the age of 15 by Trinidad’s leading steel orchestra "Desperadoes" nine time panorama winners and current champions. We were winners of several prestigious awards including: the Prime Minister Trophy, The Triple Crown, The Governors General Cup, and the Music Festival Trophy.

At sixteen I performed at the First Negro Arts Festival in Africa, which was quite an experience for such a young man. The following year 1967, I performed at the Montreal Exposition in Canada, followed by an extensive tour to London, Zambia and New York in 1968. In 1970 I was chosen to represent Trinidad and Tobago, both as a soloist and a member of Trinidad National Steel Orchestra.

In 1971 I migrated to New York City, where I mastered the art of composing and arranging at the Third Street Musical Conservatory. A proposal was set in that December to arrange and play with the Music Makers Steel Orchestra in Los Angeles, California. We toured for the next two years through California and Nevada. In 1974 I settled in Los Angeles, California. My recording contracts began to mount in 1975 with various artist such as, Maurice White, Earth Wind and Fire, Harry Neilson, RCA, and John Lennon and Ringo Star of the Beatles just to name a few.

By 1978 I returned to Trinidad to work with Rudolph Charles (Desperadoes), one of the innovators of a newly designed steel drum which required hand, foot coordination dexterity and speed. His expertise bought the Desperadoes Steel Orchestra to a new height in music. Ever since the Trinidad Carnival of 1979, I've returned to Trinidad every year to play. In 1983 I assisted in the arranging, which included the new Quadraphonic and Harmony (six 6 drum) - the extension of Charles innovational new drums. In 1985 Despers took first place at Panorama.

Prior to 1985 I had the opportunity to record an album with Jimmy Buffett. We began touring shortly after to promote the album and ever since then I've been performing and recording with the Jimmy Buffett and the "Coral Reefers Band."

Some of the projects that I have been involved with are:

MOVIE SOUND TRACKS:
Brothers, Champ, Clara's Heart, Commando, Working Girl, Hard to Kill, Sister Kate, 48 Hours, Cool Running, Jamaican Bob Sled

TELEVISION SHOWS:
Jackson Five Special (1977), A Man Called Sloan with King Erickson, Solid Gold with Stephen Bishop, Saturday Nite Live (1980), Love Boat (1981), Caribbean Mystery (1983), Fall Guy (1982), Babes (1990), Dynasty (1982), Arsenio Hall (1990), Fantasy Island (1983), Tonight Show with Johnny Carson now Jay Leno starting from 1987 - yearly to present

WORKSHOPS & CLINICS:
Brooklyn College New York, University of North Texas (College of music), Northern Illinois University (School of music)

SOLOIST FOR COMMERCIALS:
McDonald's (European Market), 7up, Jus Juice, Corona Beer (together with Taj Mahal)

ALBUMS - SOLOIST:
John Lennon's Double Fantasy, Ringo Starr's Rotogrove, Grover Washington's Wine Light, Ralph McDonald: Counter Point, Surprise, Reunion (Japan), Just the Two of Us, (wrote "Jovert-Jam"), Port Pleasure (wrote "Catch of the Day"), Larry Graham One in a Million, Barry Manilow's Clang of Yankee Reeper, Madagasca's Madagasca, Earth Wind & Fire's Power Light, Desperadoes Steel Orchestra: Steel Band Fiesta, Classic, Live, Pan in Honey, Best of Despers, Jimmy Buffett's: One Particular Harbor, Last Mango in Paris, The Blonde Stranger, Floridays' 'Feeding Frenzy, Berometor Soup, Off to See the Lizard , Fruitcakes, Hot Water, Myself: Taj Mahal's Live to Disc, Music Foryuh, Evolution, Jimmy Buffett and Ralph McDonald King of Somewhere Hot, Brian Wilson/Van Dyke Parks Orange Crate Art, Myself: Superblue (Top Calypsonian in Trinidad), Fire Comin' Down, Steel Pan Music, Christmas Style, Hans G. Pomnaz UBM Records (Germany)

IMPORTANT DATES & EVENTS:

1978-83

Formed my own steel orchestra "Los Angeles Despers"

1978-83

Toured the Hawaiian Islands, Europe, Africa, Australia, US and Japan with Taj Mahal: in 1991 as soloist

1983-99

Toured with singer, songwriter Jimmy Buffett in US, Australia and the Hawaiian Islands

1984

L.A. Despers Steel Orchestra entertained 1984 Olympics teams and guest

1985

Became manager and leader of the Desperado Steel Orchestra, also arranged music, taking them to win Panorama trophy

1986

Produced, arranged and directed first album "Mad Music" with, Michael Utley

1987

Produced second album "Jubilee" with M. Utley

1987

Conducted, arranged and played with Trinidad's Desperado Steel Orchestra at "Carnegie Hall", New York

1989

Produced third album "Heat" also done with M. Utley

1986, 88 & 92

Together with Pat Bishop, took Trinidad Desperado Steel Orchestra to win the
Classical Festival, held in Trinidad

1989

New Orleans Jazz Festival and also in 1984. Recorded music for children’s book "Jolly Mon" written by Jimmy Buffett, also done with Mike Utley

1991

Won Panorama trophy with my own composition "Musical Volcano"and again
in 1994 with "Fire"

1992 & 95

Played for the president of the United States – President Clinton's Inauguration - also for President Clinton's surprise birthday party at the White House in August 1995

1993

Received "Hummingbird Medal" from the president of Trinidad and Tobago, 
for outstanding achievement in the musical arts

1989

Perform at the Pan Jazz Festival in Trinidad, annuall

 

 
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