David Yundi has returned to participate once more in PanoGrama, having placed 10th in the 2021 final. His instrument was made and tuned by Andy Neils.
David Yundi is an esteemed panist and student. He was born in New York where he spent around 4 years of his life, and spent the other 16 years living in Trinidad. David Yundi spent most of his early years focusing on academic studies, without a clear goal in mind of what he wanted to become. That changed when he accidentally stumbled upon the band-room in the school he attended, St Margaret’s Boys’ Anglican School (STMB). As quick as David mistakenly stumbled in, he just as quickly joined the band and was attending gigs, and performing with the band in no time.
David Yundi performed with the band in the Under-13 Panorama category where he started off on the guitar pan. He captured his first win in the category, and that begat a momentous uprising and change in David’s aspirations and goals. Recognizing David’s knack for digesting music at a quick pace, he was moved to 3 Cello, and was promoted to captain of the U-13 band. St Margaret’s would go on to do a hat-trick in the U-13 category, winning three Panoramas in a row.
Moving through secondary school (St Francis Boys’ College), David maintained connections with STMB, performing on gigs with the stage-side. The band most notably performed in Carnegie Hall, New York and Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. At the age of 17, David decided to perform with a large band, to acquire new knowledge, experiences, and challenge himself. He firstly joined Invaders Steel Orchestra, and pivoted to Silver Stars where he called ‘home’. He accredits Silver Stars for their variety in music, and their ability to challenge the player with any song; whether it be at a slow tempo or a fast tempo. He also used the new pace of the band, to transition to the Double Seconds pan.
During his early months in Silver Stars, David decided to use the knowledge gained from the band to apply to the University of Trinidad and Tobago to begin his Bachelor’s Degree in the Fine Arts. David was accepted, and began experimenting on different pans. The time inside the NAPA (National Academy for the Performing Arts) building was however, short-lived, when the pandemic came and closed schools down. David emphatically began learning how to improvise on the steelpan app, exploiting the freedom the pandemic gave to people. After 8 months of practicing, he is confident in his ability to enter solo-performance competitions such as PanoGrama and Pan Ramajay.