sterling

Sterling Betancourt 

Born in Trinidad & Tobago, Sterling Betancourt started his career in pan as a member and tuner with Crossfire. Selected as a member of TASPO (Trinidad All-Steel Percussion Orchestra) along with Dr. Ellie Mannette, he traveled to the UK in 1951 to participate in the Festival of Britain. Sterling remained in England and formed the UK’s first steelband combo performing all over London as well as in radio shows, jazz clubs and on the BBC. In 2012, Sterling was featured in the Jools Holland film about the musical history of London. London Calling” featured footage of the 1948 arrival of the Windrush at Tilbury Docks and TASPO at the 1951 Festival of Britain. In 2013, the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission in London hosted an event in Sterling’s honor at which he launched his CD “TASPO Story”, a tribute to TASPO and a celebration of 60 years of steelpan in the UK.

Dave Longfellow 

Accomplished musician, clinician, and educator, Dave Longfellow, is distinguished by success as a performer, composer, and arranger of steel band music. Recognized for his hard work and dedication to the art form by his colleagues, he is an exceptional teacher and mentor. Longfellow began playing steel pans at the age of ten in his hometown of Morgantown, West Virginia and went on to perform with some of the most visible personalities in the steel drum world including: Andy Narell, Ken “Professor” Philmore, Ray Holman, Robert Greenidge, Liam Teague, Duvonne Stewart, Jit Samaroo, and many others. He traveled to Trinidad and Tobago to play with the world famous BP Renegades Steel Orchestra at 16 years-old during the 2000 carnival season and returned in 2004 to study abroad at the University of the West Indies and perform with Renegades again. Longfellow more recently performed with birdsong and Renegades steel orchestras for the 2013, 2015, and 2017 Panorama seasons. In 2001, Longfellow started his own quintet focused on the performance of progressive Latin jazz. His group, The Dave Longfellow Ensemble (also known as The DLE), is dedicated to creating new musical expressions involving steel pans, and to spreading the beauty and versatility of these instruments to new audiences. As a composer and clinician, Longfellow travels throughout the country for events at various high schools, universities, and festivals. 

PP3 AllPans

Potts & Pans Steelband 

Potts & Pans Steelband is the largest professional steelband in the Midwest. Potts & Pans can be found frequently at cultural festivals, parades, community events, or private parties such as weddings or corporate functions. The band performs their unique mix of Carribean & American music. Often focusing on calypsos and socas from Trinidad & Tobago, P&P incorporates jazz, pop and even classical into their shows as well.

The band currently consists of Dan Bretz, Christina Guerrero, Anthony Jay Houston, Matt Potts & Emily Rojas. P&P has had a close relationship with Ellie since his participation in the first Great Lakes Steelpan Festival in 2013, including Matt going to West Virginia to observe Ellie’s tuning techniques. 

longfellow better