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Condolences and tribute to an un sung Hero Henry 'Bendix' Cumberbatch

Just got the word on the Passing of another steelpan Giant...'Bendix' 

Bendix was a  truly talented and gifted Pan player and Arranger. those of us who knew him would attest to this fact....yet with all this talent he avoided the spotlight. ...It is unfortunate that we do not honor these great Pan personalities while they walk amongst us..

I recall Bendix coming up to Flamingoes around (1969-1970) with a contingent of Pan Pl;ayers from Chaguanas .(Jimi Phillip and Mike Cumberbatch his brother ,were amongst them). He had even brought Pan tuner  Leo Coker also .. Needless to say this input into Flamingoes propelled them to participate in their firat  Panorama competition in 1971.Bendix was also a remarkable friend and brother to hang out with. amongst some of the other bands he was involved with were Desperadoes and he also arranged for many bands including Casablanca (Tourist Elsie ) placing third in the Panorama and he also did very well with Ju-C Antillean All Stars as an Arranger..

Our deepest sympathies and condolences goes out to the family of Bendix

Rest In Peace Bendix you did a massive contribution to Steelpan and will always be remembered for that.


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When Steel Talks joins you in extending our condolences to family and friends of Mr. Cumberbatch

My condolences go out to the friends ond family of Mr Cumberbatch. He was another of those unsung pan heros that we only seem to recognise on their passing.

Fortunately, we have an example of his work posted on this forum ( Kitch's Tourist Elsie by Casablanca) and several WST members had an opportunity to express their feelings about this gifted pannist.

I hope he was made  aware that he was apprecieted and respected before he passed.

R.I.P. Mr Henry "Bendix" Comberbatch. 


My first years of playing pan were under Bendix' arrangements.........Tourist Elsie.......Ash Wednesday Jail........The Will.......all great arrangements...........My condolences to the family but let's hope his music will be his legacy!!!

My surprise on learning that Bendix has passed on: we all have that inevitable date with destiny, but for someone who will have hardly passed his three-score-and-ten, it comes as a surprise. I attended college with him (St Phillip & St James, later renamed Presentation Chaguanas) and got to know him very well. He may have been in class with Jack Warner--about three years ahead of me.

Bendix started playing pan with a Chaguanas band (Sissons Wonderland, I think) when he was still at school, and when his contemporaries (Hugo and Blair Francis, "Boots" Niamath et al) played football. I left Pres in 1962 and had a short stint with Wonderland before I was "called up" to attend military college: so much for my pan playing dawn that never got past daybreak! By the time I returned home for my first Carnival and Panorama (1967), I had lost touch with Bendix and the guys I knew from Chaguanas. Chaguaramas had become my new home, in more ways than one.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Bendix' name crop up as arranger for the then Solo Harmonites. I felt proud of him for many reasons. The main one is when the evolution of pan comes up for discussion, pan historians speak of the East and the West and Behind de Bridge and South...but never Central. Little do they know that between the Caroni River and the San Fernando Hill, many a band played their hearts out to keep us chipping on Carnival days in Couva, Carapichaima and Chaguanas. Among them were the two bands from Longdenville and Enterprise that would later merge to form Tropical Angel Harps. There was Crescendos from Montrose. Wonderland and another band in Chaguanas. Two bands in Carapichaima. And the one I cut my love-for-pan-music teeth on, Freeport's Sunny Side Kids (which, thanks to the late "Son" Marchand, had an all-girls band as well). So there were bands in Central, and many good players and musicians, Bendix being one. These bands live on in the memories of people like me--not among the principals in the pan fraternity.

Bendix would have been in that mix. His stints as a player and later arranger with the "big bands" in the North--Flamingoes, 'Blanca, Harmonites--came in the mid-1960s/1970s, after he had matured in Central. He took with him some of the best players from Central when he played or arranged outside the zone. I knew him as an ace pannist and someone who had an ear and a flair for great music. As a Trini-to-de-bone, Bendix was also Chaguanas-to-de-bone. He never left his roots. He could be seen at any of the racing pools, the malls, Carnival activities...always in Central.

I enquired about him a few months ago and called his phone but got no response. I'm sorry I did not persist and make contact with him. Now that he is gone, I shall miss that wicked smile whenever we met, his "jammette" guffaw (that he was proud of), and the information on "de culture" he was always willing to share. To his sisters Greer and Shirley, my condolences. Another panman gone to the biggest yard...again, at Carnival time. 

Rest in peace, my brother.


Don't forget he placed third in 1975 with antelean all stars arranging the only band that did not play kitch's spree in the final
On behalf of the Desperadoes Steel Orchestra our sympathies to the family of Bendix,what a gifted player and arranger.
I did not know too much of him, I did hear his name call on occassion throughout my years (which only spans just under 4 decades) and I am very fond of Iscott Casablanca's version of Kitchener's Tourist Elsie but did not know who arranged it....now I know... R.I.P Mr. Cumberbatch.

My condolences to his family and he came second with Ash Wednesday jail


My condolence to The Cumberbatch Family

He did also place second behind Despers (Rebecca) in 1983 with Casablanca playing 'Ash Wednesday Jail'. Won North Zone with 'Blanca (De Will) as well as East Zone with Harmonites and South with Ju-C Antillean. Only the big National win escaped him. He will be badly missed and remembered dearly by his family and friends. So happy I got to spend a fair bit of time with him last August when I visited Trini.  R.I.P Uncle Henry from your nephew, Jason

You're so right Salah, I had the opportunity to chat with him a few weeks ago, when I attended a rehearsal just before the South/Central preliminaries of the Single Pan category this year, the band he arranged for was St. Thomas All Stars a new band entering the competition for the first time, from Chaguanas, and while they were playing the tune, he was there  playing a double tenor alongside them. One thing I must say though, is that he certainly was from the old school of steelpan arrangers, you made a mistake you got some choice words, he had a real hot mouth, and although the players are very young you can see that given time the band will have some very good players.

Rest in peace "Bendix"  your work on this side has ended. My condolences to his family, and the members of the band St. Thomas All Stars.


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