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Profile – George Rampersad
Born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Attended the Tunapuna Presbyterian School and St. Mary’s College in Port-of-Spain. Aircraft mechanic with BWIA – the airline of Trinidad & Tobago – from 1976 to 1984.
Learned to play the full range of steelpan instruments in Starland Steel Orchestra, taught by Wilfred Keel (Silver Stars), Claude “Moby Dick” alias “Catelli Joe” Williams (Trinidad All Stars) and Michael “Penta” Cupidore (Invaders and Hummingbirds Pan Groove). Inspired and guided by steelband virtuoso Rudy “Two Leff” Smith, arranger, pan tuner and master jazz pannist known the world over for his bebop style of playing the steelpan.
Co-founded and arranged music for Tunapuna All Stars Steel Orchestra, the only steelband with a complete repertoire of Indian music.
Migrated to Denmark in 1984. Taught steelband in schools, youth clubs and adult education evening classes. Founded and arranged music for Denmark All Stars, the band that represented Denmark at the first ever European Steelband Festival in Paris in 2000. Taught asylum seekers at camps run by the Danish Red Cross.
Collaborated with Danish trumpet player Jens Winther for 1200th anniversary celebrations of the city of Aalborg in 1990, combining the steelband Sweet Pans, comprising Danish kids he had taught, with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra.
Albums: The Power of Words – Released 2008
Has given lectures and performances in Germany, Sweden, England, France, Norway and Denmark. One of the few people in the world who sings calypso to the accompaniment of steelpans, he has no formal education in the arts.