Steelpan Arranger
Kendall Williams, composer and steelpan arranger
WST Pan Photographer

Dr. Kendall K. Williams

Kendall Williams - Pan In Motion, CASYM, CrossFire Steel Orchestra, Brooklyn Steel Orchestra, Skiffle (T&T), Pan Elders (T&T)
Panorama Championships
New York -

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Kendall K. Williams, having been born around the Trinbagonian (Trinidad & Tobago) culture, has adopted the country's national instrument, the steel pan. From as early as the age of four, Kendall made efforts to mimic his parents as they displayed their talents in a Miami-based steel band. It wasn't long before his efforts turned into a reality as he developed his skills and passion for the instrument. As he got older his passion brought out a connection to music and he was able to perform with large, world-renowned steel orchestras in Trinidad and Tobago as well as bands in the New York-based scene for many years.

He took things a step further when he graduated from Florida Memorial University with a B.A. in Music under the direction of Dr. Dawn Batson, with his main instrument being the steel pan. He continued to further his studies at NYU Steinhardt, where he pursued a Masters of Music Degree in Music Theory & Composition, studying with Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, and Rich Shemaria. There he also actively participated in the NYU Steel band under the leadership of Artist Faculty member Josh Quillen.

As he moved closer to graduating, his goals included composing and arranging music that could further showcase the steel pan for the virtuous instrument it is, while bringing his unique style to more conventional instruments known today. Now that he has graduated he aggressively pursues a career as a composer, arranger, and advocate for the steel pan instrument. He works to open peoples' minds to the possibilities steel pan can offer the world by showing that the instrument is more versatile than it may seem. Kendall has also been the musical director for Brooklyn-based CASYM and Crossfire steel orchestras.

He received his doctorate in music composition from Princeton University in 2023, after studying under the auspices of Dan Trueman, Steve Mackey, Dmitri Tymockzo, So Percussion and others.

An Exclusive When Steel Talks Interview with Kendall Williams

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