Andy Narell

Andy NarellA native of New York City, Andy Narell was introduced to the pan when his father, a social worker counseling gangs at the Educational Alliance in Manhattan, hired an Antiguan exchange student to build a set of steel pans and teach one group of kids to play.  Within a few years his father was running a program with twenty bands and, as Narell recalls, “my brother and I wanted to play, too”.  Soon he was playing professionally.

In 1966 Narell went to Trinidad and met Ellie Mannette, one of the founding fathers of the steel drum.  Narell credits Mannette with giving him his sound.  When finished college and had to choose between medical school and music, he turned to composition and performing.

Over the course of seven recordings and a decade of touring, Andy Narell has pioneered his own vision of the steel pan’s role in contemporary music.  Along the way he has become an international success as well as a popular and controversial figure in Trinidad, the home of the pan.  A frequent visitor there, he has recorded and performed with soca artists David Rudder and Charles Roots, performed solo, and played with 100 member steel bands at the annual Panaorama festival. 

His goals for the coming year include presenting his own compositions at the Trinidad National Music Festival and Panorama.