Red Stripe Ebony Steelband at a Glance
Initially formed in 1968 in London, the Ebony Steelband started their
success story in 1983 when they won the Panorama Championship title, little
did they know that this was the start of many successes for the Ebony
Steelband. Sponsored by the Jamaican brewery Red Stripe Lager in 1984, this
made visits to Sweden and Denmark every year thereafter. In 1985 the Greek
Government invited the Band to tour the islands making them the first
Steelband to do so. By Joyce Quashie, secretary for Ebony Steelband
For the following years the band covered a numerous amount of tours and
performances which include prestigious events such as the Royal Opera House
in Covent Garden, the Effested Festival in Wales, a show at the Midem Music
Festival in Cannes, also street Festivals in Belgium which the band had the
opportunity of returning year after year and other famous festivals, shows
and even performances on television.
So you can believe it when I say that this band is definitely Europe's most
finest, covering a wide variety of performances, shows and events around
Great Britain and the world and still going on to do more!
For the last three years the band has had their Annual Memorical Concert at
Kensington Town Hall, where you have the pleasure of a full musical
repertoire by the Red Stripe Ebony Steelband plus their special guest, with
names like Annise 'Halfers' Hadeed (the bands arranger), Rudy Smith Quartet
(from Denmark) and Earl Rodney (the grandfather of the steelpan instrument,
For the year 1993 Ebony Steelband covered a vast amount of their goals, the
band was able to travel down to Trinidad and Grenada for a recording which
is being produced by Billy Ocean.
For 1993, the band took part in a play called The Pan Beaters, about a
Steelband in Trinidad preparing for competition with all the confusion
surrounding pan man and woman, this took place at the Greenwich Theatre
which included famous actors such as Victor Romero Evans, Don Warrington and
Yet still, in between these shows and performances the band make it their
duty to participate in the Carnival Celebrations. The bands achievement
where Carnival and Panorama Championship are concerned, is something to be
taken seriously. When the preparations for this spectacular event comes
around there's some serious vibes created around Ebony's Panyard. With the
dexterity and professionalism attained by Europe's premier steelband, has
led this band to achieve six Panorama titles.
Normally the week before this championship takes place, their off again on
their annual visit to Mortenhampstead, devon for the Carnival. This is a
very exciting period of the month for the players, not only to get away from
London but to experience a different Carnival atmosphere and some good
country life. This year we were able to take students from Acklam Playcentre
and students from our evening class, to experience new things for the first
time, such as horse riding, feeding chickens and cleaning out pig pens.
Participating in the Notting Hill Carnival, has led this band to win 'Best
Steelband on the Road' competition for the fourth consecutive year, even out
of the Carnival scene Ebony has taken the highly prestigious title of
'National Steelband Music Champions of Great Britain' for the last three
The artistry and expertise of the panists and the extensive range of music
has led them to record three albums.
In July 1988 in response to a number of clearly precieved needs the Ebony
Steelband Trust was established. The primary objective of the Trust is to
encourage relief and personal development to all participants. Efforts have
been directed towards: the provision of steelpan music to those with
disability, whether physical, mental, social or economic, prevent them from
participating or appreciating this artform; the introduction and development
for educational establishments - schools colleges and youth facilities so as
to ensure that young people are provided with opportunities to learn and
appreciate this unique musical instrument and the culture which led to its
development; enabling those receiving instruction to express their musical
creativity through performance.
This Trust has achieved a very good amount of facilities for the young, and
the disabled, achieving seminars, workshops and classes for beginners.