Edward Clarke Jr on six-bass with Steel Sensation

Edward Clarke Jr on six-bass with Steel Sensation

Meet Edward Clarke Jr of New York, USA - Steelpan performing artist

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Edward Clarke Jr, (Eddy/BassMan From Hell) born and raised in Brooklyn, New York is from a family of Jamaican decent. At the age of 10 he started learning how to play steel pan at Winthrop Beacon. Six bass was the first instrument he learned during Saturday programs and fell in love playing and learning new music. Because of school, he had to stop playing steel pan in order to continue his education.

Later on, he went back to play. Instead of going back to Winthrop Beacon, he joined a steelband named Sesame Flyers. His experience there was challenging, but fun.  After one year with Sesame Flyers, he decided to join friends at Pan Sonatas. When he heard the arrangement for songs like “Ganges Meet The Nile” and “Just The Two of Us,” arranged by Yohan Popwell, he became excited and was determined to learn new music. In 2006, he started to play with a small steelband named Steel Sensation, where Amrit Samaroo arranged. The music there was even more challenging with various genres to learn, but it made him a better player.

The love he had for bass and steel pan increased daily. Playing under these amazing arrangers was a blessing and experience he would not change for the world. He later started listening to more arrangers from Trinidad such as Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Jit Samaroo, and Clive Bradley. He became more versatile and started playing tenor, four pan and quads. An arranger by the name of Leon Foster Thomas came to Sonatas to arrange in 2013. Foster’s grasp on how to arrange his ideas to steel pan, made Eddy realize different ways to utilize the instrument.

Traveling to Trinidad in January 2014, Foster introduced Eddy to Len “Boogsie” Sharpe and was lucky enough to play with Phase II. One of his biggest accomplishments as a New York panist was winning his first Panorama in Trinidad with the steelband. While practicing with Phase II, Eddy got to play with Amrit Samaroo’s small steel band, Supernovas Steel Orchestra, which was an unforgettable year. The next couple of years, he played with D’Radoes, the steel orchestra arranged by Terrance “BJ” Marcelle in Brooklyn, New York and won three New York Panoramas.

In 2019, he went back to Trinidad and got to play with some of his close friends who arranged for Skiffle Steel Orchestra. The arrangers were Marc Brooks, Kendall Williams, and Odie Gonzales. He played quads for the first time and fell in love with that pan.

Till this day, Eddy is looking forward to many more experiences, where he can get to expand his horizon in the pan world.

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