Pan Virtuoso Aubrey “Lacu” Samuel Thrilled about Sunshine Music Awards

As announced in a previous post, Antiguan pan virtuoso Aubrey “Lacu” Samuel will receive the Sunshine Award for his 25 years of contributions to steelband music. Other Caribbean recipients this year include Edward “Teddy” Pinheiro, William Munro, and Mungal Patasar from Trinidad and Tobago; Rudy Bishop (Guyana); and Winston Fleary of Carriacou. [See previous post: Sunshine Awards announce 2011 nominees.] Lacu describes his reaction when he got the call from Antigua & Barbuda’s consulate general in New York McChesney Emanuel as “Happy … really, really.” He will receive the award in a ceremony on Saturday, October 22, 2011.

Caribbean Sunshine Music honours are awarded to artists of African descent who produce exceptional work. Dorbrene Omarde and Swallow are among [previous] recipients.

Lacu is due to travel to The Big Apple next Wednesday to receive the award in a ceremony set for Saturday, October 22. But his friends and well-wishers couldn’t let him leave without a celebration. The party was held at Russell’s in Fort James. Called Pass the Pan, the celebration featured guest of honor himself, Lacu, and his group Cutting Edge, with Gavin Christopher on keyboards, Boogie on drums, Kennie Blessin on vocals, and Squasher on bass. [. . .]

Lacu is among Antigua & Barbuda’s most renowned pannists. In 2006, he received a plaque from the prime minister to mark his then 30 years of playing pan. The following year, he was among the national honourees with an Order of Princely Heritage OH award. Currently, Lacu works with the Culture Department, teaching the art in the schools.

With 35 years of experience, the artist attributes his success with the instrument to “hard practice and being around the right people: “People like Ronald Benjamin, formerly of Harmonites and Victor ‘Babu’ Samuel, who I used to practice with in the early days,” he told Observer Entertainment. “Pan is my life. It’s something I love. It’s our
Caribbean instrument so we have to treasure it.”

The group with which he plays, Cutting Edge, is currently putting the finishing touches on an album to be released in time for the tourist season.

For full article, see

For nominees for 2011 Sunshine Awards Hall of Fame, see

Photo of Lacu (left) with renowned saxophonist Arturo Tappins, from

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