WST Global News Division


Jason "P'Nut" Isaac

The Ten Commandments of Pan

On Sunday, December 16, 2007 WACK 90.1 FM Radio in conjunction with Pan Trinbago hosted Jason "P'Nut" Isaacs, formerly of Phase II Pan Groove, at its studio on Coffee Street in San Fernando, Trinidad.

The second edition of the live interactive broadcast, the weekly show is the brainchild of Hollis Clifton who, upon his recent return from sojourn in Africa became concerned about the blatant disregard for Trinidad and Tobago as the birthplace of the steelpan and more so, as pan is the only percussion musical artform to be invented in the twentieth century.

Show hosts were D.J. Heshimu with Hollis Clifton and Elton Bain - Pan Trinbago Chairman (Ag.) South Central Region, and P'Nut.

At 57, the New York based pannist is currently arranging his own composition for Kalomo Kings Steelband of San Fernando. The piece is entitled " The Ten Commandments of Pan" and sung by Tony Prescott.  P'Nut was in high praise for his spouse Ingrid de Peiza for her contribution to the lyrics.  He was also grateful to Frankie McIntosh with whom he collaborated musically for the piece.

(left to right) Elton Bain, Jason 'P'Nut' Isaac, Hollis Clifton

In response to a question from host Heshimu, Isaac recalled that he started playing pan at age 5 and had to stand on a box in Roxy Theatre while playing with "Boys Town Is" which later became Western Stars Steelband.

In the USA Mr. Isaac’s panmanship and arranging skills were felt by a number of steelbands including Tropican, Moods Pan Grove, Sonatas, Pan Rebels and Dem Stars.

In response to Mr. Bain's question he stated that over the years his own compositions included Jamboree, sung by Steve Sealy, Jam Dem Raw and Hard Wine both sung by Tunapuna Scanty and Pump Up De Steel sung by Steve Sealy.

Callers-in to the interactive segment included Nicholas from Atlanta, who gave the tune 5 out of 5. Terry from the USA felt the objective of the show was quite in order and commented on how informative it was, never mind the 7 inches of snow being endured in Boston at the time!

Isaac's achievements include:-

  • travelling with Liberace and Highlanders Steel Orchestra;

  • a jazz recording with Bobby Humphrey;

  • in concert with the Ink Spots and the Doobie Brothers;

  • recording with Rick Derringer

  • as well as his own jazz CD.

In conclusion, Mr. Clifton proposed that in order for any leeway to be made in branding Trinidad and Tobago as the home of/and originating country of the steelpan, there is need for a symposium to be held among Pan Trinbago, The Bureau of Standards and the manufacturers of pan.

by Hollis Clifton
Pan Diaspora Visionary


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