Steelband Arranger

Robert Cadet, Sr. - Steelpan Arranger - Grenada

Robert Cadet, Sr.

Robert Cadet, Sr. - Pan Ossia (Grenada), Toyota All Stars
Panorama Championships
Grenada  - 1977 

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Drummer, steelband musician, arranger and composer Robert K. Cadet, Sr. was born in Grenada, W.I. and lived in St. Paul’s parish. Playing for the local village band Commancheros Steel Orchestra, Cadet developed a love for Pan where he played bass pan, and was also the drummer. He was given the name “Toes” from playing the drums on the tip of his toes.

Not too long after, while accompanying Commancheros on tours, Cadet started arranging music for the band. He was subsequently recruited as arranger for a new band in 1975, which would eventually go on to be called Toyota All Stars. Across the ocean in New York that same year, Cadet’s skill set as a drummer once again came into play for the legendary Brooklynaires Steel Orchestra as their Panorama drummer, when the band won the New York Panorama championship – all this at age seventeen.

A mere two years later, then-nineteen year-old Cadet would cop his first and only Panorama title, this with Toyota All Stars, back in Grenada. The illustrious musician was also a one-time member of then-Amoco Renegades in Trinidad for two years, where he played double second and also doubled as the stage side drummer for the band. He eventually settled in New York, playing for local brass bands of the day and also spent 20-plus years in the USMC (United States Marine Corps).

Cadet, Sr. then returned to Grenada, taking his son, Robert Cadet Jr. home to play with the band he grew up with, Commancheros. The elder Cadet was hired upon his return to arrange for a band called Florida All Stars.

In 2009 when that stint was up, along with his son and a friend, they decided to form their own band, Pan Ossia. A non-sponsored steel orchestra, they purchased all the instruments out their own pocket from Gill’s Pan shop in Trinidad. After a year of buying Pans and racks, the band entered the Grenada National Panorama competition for the first time where the band placed second.

Cadet, Sr. composes all of his own music, co-writing the lyrics with one of Pan Ossia’s owners, Burgess “Quako” McPhie.

bio by When Steel Talks


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