Damany “BoB” James was born of Kenwayne and Shellyann James on July
23,1996. Damany walks in his Trinidadian nationality proudly as an arranger
in the Brooklyn steel pan community. Damany found interest in arranging,
from playing Panorama with
his early stages in steel pan. He was intrigued by the role of an arranger
and drawn to how well they conducted a band. The ease in which it appeared
an arranger was able to stand in front of a band and deliver beautiful music
was something that sparked a fire in Damany.
Damany started playing pan in 2007 under the leadership of Tichard Chapman. In 2008, Damany became a member of the Higher Levin Steel Orchestra where he learned to be a better leader, musician and arranger. Damany’s first arrangement was a song composed by Patrice Roberts & Kerwin Du Bois entitled “I Am Soca” in 2011. Since then his love and passion for the instrument and arranging has grown immensely. Damany and his group of loyal friends are the champions of both the 2016 & 2017 Junior Pan Fest competition. Along with playing and arranging Damany has been an active educator on the Trinidadian culture and history of the steel pan. Damany is currently a teacher at Meyer Levin Junior High School where he teaches Steel Pan courses. He has also been teaching in after school programs, beginner steel band classes, and one-on-one lessons through his on-the-rise music business entitled “BoB’s Music”.
Damany is now the Musical Director for CrossFire Steel Orchestra under the management of Martin Douglas fondly known as “Dougie”. Damany and Dougie met in 2012, the year the band played “Action” arranged by Leon “Foster” Thomas. Since then, Damany has continued to play with CrossFire as a player where he fell in love with the four-pan. It wasn’t until the year 2019 that Dougie offered Damany the chance to arrange for CrossFire beginning with the Pan Is Sweet competition hosted by Brooklyn Steel Orchestra in which Damany helped re-emerge CrossFire as a formidable band with a second place finish. Damany hopes to bring just as much success, if not better, in the 2019 Panorama to come with the song selection “Trouble In The Morning” sung by “V’ghn”. “From the sidewalk, to the stage” as quoted by the rising arranger. It is Damany’s aspiration to bring a resounding voice to CrossFire Steel Orchestra and to continue to give Pan lovers everywhere beautiful music.
Damany’s vision is to expand the avenues of which pan has reached. He believes that there’s so much more that can come from and of such a sacred instrument. When Damany is not behind a pan or in front of a band, you can either find him behind a drum set or a piano. For some being a musician might be fun but for Damany, “It’s more than just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle”.