Jit Samaroo Dr. Jit Sukha Samaroo (Musician, Panist, Composer, and steel pan arranger) was born in Surrey Village in the Lopinot Valley, Trinidad, on 24 February 1950, the sixth of Sookram and Lakia Samaroo’s thirteen children. His love for music manifested itself at a very early age, influenced perhaps by his mother, who played the Dholak, and by ‘parang’, a Spanish-derived musical art form for which Lopinot is famous. Jit played the cuatro and guitar and at Christmas time, would accompany the village paranderos in their traditional house-to-house serenading.
Eleven of his compositions were Test pieces for Pan competitions. “La Trinity” was the test piece for the conventional band in the 1994 Pan is Beautiful Music Festival. “Pan Patterns’’ was the 1985 Junior Steelband Festival Test piece and “Utsav Ki Awaz’’ and “Milap’’ were the 1995 National Pan Chutney Competition Test Pieces for the conventional and Pan-around-the-neck steelbands respectively. “Song of Lopinot’’ was the 1987 Junior Steelband Festival Test Piece and “Jaago’’ (Wake Up) was the 1997 National Pan Chutney Competition Test Piece for traditional Pan-around-the-neck steelbands. In 1996 Jit also composed the sound track for Kamalo Deen’s full length motion picture “The Panman”, which was filmed in Trinidad & Tobago.
Jit has also arranged for several other steelbands both at home in Trinidad and Tobago and abroad. He was awarded the Hummingbird Medal of Merit (silver) in 1987, as well as the Chaconia Medal (silver) in 1995. In 2003, he received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of the West Indies for his musical accomplishments.
The first night Jit arranged ‘One Bad Apple’ by the Osmond Family and within days, the members persuaded Boldface to let him arrange music, both for the stage side and for Panorama.
Thus it was the band that once had the notoriety of being one of the toughest street gangs in the city transformed its image—a transformation that was complete by the end of the 1970s. Over the years, the players have developed into an ensemble of outstanding musicians that are today the most traveled, and perhaps the highest profiled cultural ambassadors of Trinidad and Tobago and of steel band music.
Jit Samaroo Panorama Championships in Trinidad & Tobago – including the Treble 1995 to 1997
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