Steelpan Arranger
Arddin Herbert- Steelpan Arranger
WST Pan Photographer

Arddin Herbert

Arddin Herbert -
Sforzata, Invaders, Steel Xplosion, Power Stars, Laventille Serenaders, CASYM, Genesis Pan Groove

Panorama Championships
New York - 2000, 2006

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Associated with:  Invaders Steel Orchestra
CASYM Steel Orchestra

Arddin Herbert was one of the pan world’s emergent stars. After excelling as a steelpan soloist in Trinidad in his teens, Arddin focused on arranging and teaching pan in New York, USA.

On his intro into pan, Arddin says, “The way I started to play Pan is quite a unique story. Myself and my brother used to bang on the discarded milk tins, or vegetable cans at home when my mother finished cooking. We would bang and bang and bang. This went on for weeks and for months and my mother couldn’t really deal with it. These two little boys—8 and 9 years—banging and banging. So when we went to school she used to gather them all up and throw them out. When we would get home and look for them and not find them, we would be a bit disappointed. But we knew she had to cook again, so we would get some more.

“We did that, but she really couldn’t stand the percussive noise and told my father that he had to do something to get us to stop banging and banging. My father then asked me if I wanted to play pan. I had no idea what Pan was so I said “yeah.”  So he took me to Invaders panyard.

“This was in 1980. He took me to Invaders and showed me around. He had some friends who played with Invaders and he asked me “Do you want to play?” I said “Sure.” You know, anything to be out of the house. So I started to play with Invaders on the Tenor Bass. The year after, in 1981, I started to play the Tenor. Then the year after the Double Seconds and then pretty soon I was able to play every pan.”

Three years after starting to play, Arddin entered his first steelband soloist competition and placed fifth. The rest, as they say, is history.

His accomplishments:
1983 5th, Schools Steelband Music Festival, Soloist category
1984 1st, National Music Festival, Steelpan Soloist category - and Overall winner, Best instrumentalist (against all other instruments, such as piano, guitar, flute, etc.)
1984 3rd, National Steelband Festival, Soloist category
1985 2nd, Schools Steelband Festival, Soloist category
1986 2nd, National Steelband Festival, Soloist category
1987 1st, Schools Steelband Festival, Soloist category
1988 1st, National Steelband Festival, Soloist category playing his own composition, The Seagull.

In 1989, Arddin entered Brooklyn College, New York and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelors degree in Music, winning the Maurice Liebermann Award in Music and the Institute for Studies in American Music Award. He has won the amateur night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem NYC on three occasions and pursued and obtained a Masters degree in Music Business from New York University.

Arddin arranged for CASYM Steel Orchestra in Brooklyn, New York, USA for more than 10 years. During that time, CASYM won the first New York Steelband Festival Championships in 1991 at Lincoln Center playing Arddin’s original composition, The Crown Heights Overture. In 1994, he led CASYM to victory in Miami Panorama and in 1996, 1997 and 1998 Brooklyn Carnival J’Ouvert Competitions - and in 2000 and 2006, the New York Panorama, and for 2001 and 2002, the WIADCA Panorama held in Brooklyn.

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