Steelpan Tuner
Pan Tuner Allan Gervais

Allan Gervais

Allan Gervais - Master Steelpan Tuner

Allan Gervais was one of the finest tuners in his era. He was quick and excelled on all the steelpan instruments. He was considered to be one of the best, if not, the best, with respect to the maintenance of the instruments and was able to bring out the best in tone and sound of all sizes of steel orchestras.

Gervais was quiet and humble and a great humanitarian. He was devoted to his tuning and delivered his services on a timely basis.

More on Allan Gervais

right click for bio/history

  • At around age 10, he co-founded Tropical Harmony with his friend Earl Rodney.  Tropical Harmony got contracted in 1961 to play the naval Base in Chaguaramas.
  • Allan Gervais was the offical tuner for Tripoli Steel Band

When Allan Gervais of Trinidad and Tobago died in 1977, the world of pan truly lost one of its most influential pan tuners. Allan Gervais is a name that is still uttered with great respect by all pan men. In the 1960s, Gervais revolutionized the sound of the pan with his unique tuning methods, which he used to create a new tone. He was able to transform the previously flat tone of the pan, particularly the lower tenor pan, into a ringing tone, which greatly enhanced the sound, and transformed the pan into an instrument of world music. Gervais was a wizard at tuning with speed and accuracy and is known to have tuned eight pans in one afternoon for the National Steelband on tour in Michigan in the 1960s. The world of steelband music owes a great debt to the skills and creativity of the late Allan Gervais.  Source 2004 Shine Awards Release

Additional info below posted are from members of the When Steel Talks forum...

Comment by Steve Regis on November 20, 2013 at 10:20pm

What more is there to say about Allan. A true gentleman and the best pan tuner of that era. During my time as leader and arranger of Texaco Sundowners, I was able to get our sponsors (Texaco) to put Allan on contract to the band. This provided him with a monthly salary which was not a lot at that time but it still gave him some money even if he was not actually making any pans for us. His job was to provide maintenance for our pans and timely service when needed.

This led us to become very close friends and I was truly saddened by his passing at such a young age.

Rest in peace Allan and i will never forget you. YOU WERE THE BEST.

Steve Regis

Comment by Winston Dayal (alias Gons) on November 20, 2013 at 8:01pm

What can I say that's not already, i believe Alan was the best tuner in south in the sisties . I remember when Southland was formed we choose him to make our pans. They were the sweetest pans around . He was such a quiet guy didn't talk much when he was doing his work but he let the pans do the talking. He was truly blessed with an amazing talent. Gone too soon. Blessings to his family.

Comment by Caspar Durant on November 20, 2013 at 6:47pm

Gentlemen I am in agreement with all that was said, I would just like to add that I had the pleasure of Allan Gervais taking care of our "Tripoli" pans on tour from 1967 to 1972. I was 15 years in 1967 when Tripoli went on tour. I have had the pleasure of playing the best pans all my days from tuners like Aldwyn "Madman" Jordan, the first quads I ever plaid was done by Lincoln, and since that by Austin Wallace.

Comment by EDWARD TEDDY PINHEIRO on November 20, 2013 at 6:31pm

Finally Allan as tuner has come to the fore.He was the force behind Guiness Cavaliers, taking their pans in 1965 to rework them so they were the loudest band at the prelims. He went to the invaders pan yard and also reworked their pans to a higher pitch. One of the band's most senior players said that When Ellie saw what was done he left Trinidad. Interestingly the tuner who does Silver Stars pan told me that he was from Grenada. He left us in 1979.

Teddy Pinheiro

Comment by Joseph Renaud on November 20, 2013 at 3:14pm

Allan Gervais was one of the finest tuners in his era.  He was quick and excelled on all the instruments.  He was considered to be one the best, if not, the best, with respect to the maintenance of the instruments and was able to bring out the best in tone and sound of all sizes of steel bands.

He was quiet and humble and a great humanitarian.  He was devoted to his tuning and delivered his services on a timely basis.  He was a master with respect to tuning the low tenor from "B" with the F sharp in the middle-An instrument that demands the best technique and skill; all of which he possessed.

He, like, Earl Rodney was from Point Fortin.  They were some of the key figures behind the successes of Solo Harmonites, Road Runner No. 1.

May he rest in peace.

Comment by lance Seuanrine on November 20, 2013 at 3:09pm

Greetings That is my home boy from Point Fortin. He and Earl Bostik Rodney were like two peas in a pod. Guidance Dr. Lance Seunarine

Comment by VINCENT HUELOY LILA YIP YOUNG on December 7, 2013 at 10:16am

.......Joseph Renaud described him perfectly, it was a pleasure working with him in Solo Harmonites.........

Comment by lance Seuanrine on November 21, 2013 at 2:47pm

Joseph yes Tropical Harmony came from Tanner street and both Maestro and Bostik played an inportant part of its life. Sam Springle from Egypt was the baseman. When Tropical Harmony broke up, many from Rhapsody and Tropical Harmony went on to form Tornadoes. Maestro ended up in Town somewhere down there in Diego and was tuning pan for a pan factory. They robbed him blind and left him homeless. He had a heart of gold. By the way he was born in Newlands down there by Valley and Wayne ball Murray. Two questions for you Joseph. Are you related to David Renaud  who used to live near Showboat Khan on Canaan Road and Sargeant Street? The other question what was the name of the band that Sam Springle helped form in Egypt that both Earl and Maestro also used to arrange and tune pan for? Dr. Lance ( By the way in Point I was known as Arnott)

Comment by Brian Copeland on November 21, 2013 at 12:03am

Never met him but heard a lot about this great man from Roger Newhalo who played in SilverTones and from Lloyd Gay. It is said that he mentored a couple of the  great tuners around now.  Got this picture of him from somewhere. One of the stories I heard was that he had some odd shaped notes on some pans but that they were the sweetest. Allan Gervais