Oakland University News announces that Andy Narell will bring Caribbean music to Oakland University’s Professional Artists Series Concert on April 3, at 7:30pm; and on April 5 he will perform in the Children’s Concert, at 10:00am; and the World Music Concert (8:00pm). All concerts will take place at the Varner Recital Hall at Oakland University, located at 201 Meadow Brook Road in Rochester, Michigan.
As an artist in residence during the month of April, he will also offer classes and workshops. Born in Queens, New York, Narrell studies with Trinidadian steel pan maker and musician Elliot “Ellie” Mannette. For most of his professional life, “Narell has collaborated with many of the biggest names in jazz and Caribbean music.” [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]
Oakland University’s Professional Artists Series Concert, Children’s Concert and World Music Concert will feature legendary steel-pan artist Andy Narell, who will be in residency at OU during the first week of April. “Having Andy Narell at OU is going to be an incredible experience for our students,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, a special lecturer of world music at Oakland University. “He is one of the preeminent masters of the Steel Pan.”
Over the past four decades, Narell has collaborated with many of the biggest names in Jazz and Caribbean music. Through his highly acclaimed recordings and performances, he has cultivated a unique sound that has redefined the Steel Pan, which was invented using recycled oil barrels on the Caribbean island of Trinidad and has developed into an entire orchestra of steel instruments. “Having spent his whole life devoted to this art form, he has made countless contributions to the development of this musical style,” Fitzgibbon said. “His compositions have been played for decades by Steel Bands all over the world and are favorites of pan players everywhere.”
At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, Narell will bring his unique blend of jazz, latin and calypso music to OU for the Professional Artists Series concert. He will be joined by OU jazz and world music faculty. Tickets are $8 for students and $14 for the general public, and can be purchased online at startickets.com.
At 10 a.m. on Friday, April 5, ensemble directors Patrick Fitzgibbon and Mark Stone, an associate professor of music at Oakland University, will present the OU Children’s Concert. The concert will feature OU’s Pan Jumbies (Steel Band) with Narell as the guest artist. Admission is $6 for all seats, and children age 2 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased online at startickets.com.
At 8 p.m. on Friday, April 5, OU’s World Music Ensembles (Akwaaba – African Ensemble, Pan-Jumbies – Steel Band) will present their annual winter concert featuring Narell as the guest artist. This concert, with Fitzgibbon and Stone serving as ensemble directors, will feature Narell’s stirring and beautiful compositions, which are revered classics in the steel band world and have become standards of the jazz repertoire. Tickets are $8 for all seats and can be purchased online at startickets.com.
[. . .] Six OU Steel Band students also had the opportunity to work with Narell in St. Lucia — an Eastern Caribbean island nation — in February as part of the Global Arts Study Abroad Program. “We went to a town called Laborie in the southern part of the island where we spent a week learning from Narell and collaborating with the local Steel Band,” Fitzgibbon said. “It was a great experience for the students and they are all very excited to now welcome him to OU and continue learning from and performing with this great artist.