Bertram "Birch" Kelman
Simply one of the finest steelpan tuners ever.
Global - In light of the recent miscue as reported by WST member Ama Belfon in her post (How do we put a price on the contributions Pan Tuners have made to ...), WST felt that it was important that we take the opportunity to make sure that all of our members worldwide become familiar - up-close and personal - with Mr. Kelman.
click for exclusive WST interview with Mr. Kelman
Pan on d'Avenue IV will be honouring the top Pan Tuners/Pan Manufacturers of T&T and suggestions of these great icons, the unsung heroes as I call them would be appreciated. We are in the process of researching these great men so please keep your suggestions coming.
Pan on d'Avenue IV this year, will be on Saturday 22nd August, 2015. Pan on d' Avenue is the brainchild of Cleveland Garcia who organizes the event for The Woodbrook/St. James Community Association.
thank for sharing Birch.
To follow-up on your concern about the players not being taught the science behind the music they learn by rote - is there curriculum at UWI to major in Pan music/arranging/composing.
To add to this, there should also be formal training with Certification in Tuning/Blending Pan at the college level.
I know there is a drive now to have a new government 'Pan Ministry' - these proposals could be on the agenda.
These are some initiatives that would go a long way in the public taking Pan seriously and to another level.
I am humbled to read the responses to the blog I posted re: Birch Kellman. The general concensus is that a change is needed in the way things are done in regards to Pan and the people who are on the front lines. Let us not let the disscussion stop here; keep the momentum going. Throw out the stuff shirts and replace them with people who speak the language of business, who can get support from the business people of T&T for the benefit of our culture. Knowing Mr. Kellman, he would shy away from any attention on himself, however this dis-respect must stop NOW!!!! Kudos to all the hard working tuners, arrangers, players, managers, and those who just love the culture. To the ladies by the gate in Point, I hope you now know who Mr. Kellman is and what he mean to so many in the Pan fraternity. Love & Peace & more PAN !!!!
Everything in T&T is about "Who you know" what happen here will always happen when we deal with "Who we do not Know"
Birch Kellman should be encouraged to have someone write his story giving his many experiences throughout the pan World. I am sure this information from such a knowledgeable gentleman can assist with the History of the Steelband. Sorry , but we cannot wait on Pan Trinbago. or the governments of T&T, it would never happen.
Thanks WST, for this informative interview. The dedication of Mr. Kelman to the hard work, skill and "precision' required to properly tune PANS should definitely be honored. The TUNER is vital to PAN, yet this person (and role) is often overlooked when 'credits' are listed (LPs. CDs, DVDs) or announced (Panorama etc.).
Recognition of PAN TUNERS, and the offering of certified high school and college level courses in PAN tuning, would attract young peolple to this role.
I for one have to be grateful to Birch Kellman,as he was the maker of my first pan back in 1968 and to this day I have only played his style 4th and 5ths, 4th to the right as opposed to the modern 4th and 5th style going to the left. Thank you Birch I owe everything to you as my pan has gotten me all I have now including a very supporting wife..
Very humble and very talented Longlife