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Emmanuel Riley - Pan Tuner and Renowned Pan Soloist Revisited

Emmanuel Jack’ Riley in the Spotlight

You've heard of Len 'Boogsie' Sharpe and Robert Greenidge, two of the best steelpan players on the planet. Now in an exclusive When Steel Talks interview meet Emmanuel “Jack” Riley - the man who influenced them and a generation of top pan players.

Emmanuel Riley, now based in New York, is one of the steelpan instrument's true living legends - he is a Master pan craftsman, tuner, and renowned soloist... Mr. Riley was honored in New York at Lincoln Center on June 20th, 2004 at the Acoustic Revolution Pan Jazz concert for pioneering the art of improvisational jazz playing and contributions to the steelpan art-form... Mr. Riley is one of the best of a special generation of young people who were both great players and master instrument makers.

Hear his experiences, his travels and his stories... Mr. Riley's steelpan feats have already been immortalized in song and the folkways of pan...




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Great to see him being honored here... Maybe USSA or NAS should consider hosting dinners in honor of these men while they're still here. or maybe that's asking too much of them...lol
Yes indeed Khuent... love to hear his name call!!! He is a living legend.... and still a boss improvisationalist....

I think it would be fitting to post recordings of Cobeau Jack's "With a Song in My 'heart", Liebestraum". "Melody in F", etc. on WST.




Great idea.  Glenroy are you listening? We know you got the music.



One of the best Solos ever ,check his improv...  Sparrow's "Out Cast '

I am glad to learn that Cobo Jack is still active, and being honored for his contributions to pan.  The first time I heard his name was almost 30 years ago, from Cliff Alexis.  We were at Cliff's home in DeKalb, IL, and he put on a record of something that sounded like Bach played by a steelband.  Gradually, I realized that the tenor pan was improvising, and sounding like Bach!  Cliff said, "You know who that is?  That's Cobo Jack."  I would love to hear some more of the recordings that people here are calling!


As a youth i use to push his stand and really enjoy his Fantastic playing as Invaders move

along Tragarete Rd. J`ouvert morning A Master!!!

Back in the days of my youth in Trinidad even with limited mass communications, there were certain names that were legendary throughout the island for one reason or another.

You may not have personally known them, but you'd definitely heard about them.

Everybody knew of Neville Jules, Junior Pouchette, Dr Rat, Ghost, Whitey Kincaid, Goldteeth and on and on.

Cobo Jack was such a name.

Can anybody tell me where I could find a recording of Emmanuel Rileys solos in the Invaders recordings around 1958-1960?


Here are some Invaders recordings around the date you are asking.


Cute Chick/Crazy Love, Columbia TW 3000, 1959

Hawaiian Wedding Song/With a Song in My Heart, Columbia TW 3002, 1959

Come Back to Sorrento/Softly as in a Morning Sunrise, Columbia TW 3003, 1959, 1960

Leibestraum/Melody in F, Columbia TW 3009, 1959

The Steelband Music/Souvenirs, RCA 7-2161, 1961

Beautiful Dreamer/Bull Pistle Gang, RCA 7-2162, 1961


7 inch EP:

The Invaders Steelband ("Michael", "Gun Slingers", "Liebestraum", "Melody in F"), Telco 1000, 1959



The Invaders, Telco TL 5003, 1960

Trinidad Wizards of the Steel Drum, RCA LPB-2017, 1961

1962 Calypso Hits Trinidad Wizards, RCA LPB/LPS-3007, RCA Camden CDN-5104, 1962 


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