December 2000


February 2005


October 2010

RAY   ANTHONY   HOLMAN

DATE OF BIRTH: April 22, 1944
PLACE OF BIRTH: Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
EDUCATION:
  • Queen's Royal College
  • University of the West Indies (B.A. in Spanish)
  • STEELBANDS:
  • Invaders (1957 - 1962)
  • Starlift (1963 - 1974, 2002)
  • SPECIALTIES:
  • Player
  • Arranger
  • Composer
  • CAREER:                                       Holman began his steelband career with Invaders in 1957 and, by 1961, had become an arranger of classical interpretations such as "Dream of Olwen" and "Etude in Ab." In 1963, he moved over to Starlift where he had instant success with "I Feel Pretty" from the musical "West Side Story." He won the soloist competition in the 1964 Steelband Music Festival at the age of 20 and became the youngest player to accomplish this feat, up to that time. In 1969, Starlift won its first Panorama title when he arranged Lord Kitchener's "The Bull." His arrangement of Mighty Sparrow's "Queen of The Bands" in 1971 won Starlift a share of the Panorama title with Harmonites. In 1972, he made Panorama history when he became the first man to compose, arrange, and play his own tune after Starlift played "Pan on The Move" and placed third. He stayed at Starlift until 1974 and then became a freelance arranger for several bands including Exodus, Pandemonium, Tokyo, Phase II Pan Groove, Humming Birds Odyssey Pan Groove, and Power Stars. In 2006, he returned to Starlift and took the band to the Panorama final. The following is a summary of Holman's record in the Panorama competition:
    • Starlift
    • 1964 - "Bullpistle Gang" (Mighty Sparrow), 3rd
    • 1968 - "Jane" (Mighty Sparrow), 2nd
    • 1969 - "The Bull" (Lord Kitchener), 1st
    • 1970 - "Pan Man" (Mighty Sparrow), 2nd
    • 1971 - "Queen of the Bands" (Mighty Sparrow), 1st (Tied)
    • 1972 - "Pan on the Move" (Ray Holman), 3rd
    • 2006 - "If We Really Want" (Ray Holman), 3rd
    • Pandemonium
    • 1976 - "We Kind of Music" (Ray Holman), 3rd
    • 1977 - "Panyard Vibration" (Ray Holman), 3rd
                                           Lord Kitchener paid tribute to Holman in his 1990 calypso "Iron Man." In 1997, Holman did a live television performance in Cologne, Germany, with calypsonian David Rudder, American jazz panman Andy Narrel, and Vince Mendoza. He was hired in 1998 as a visiting artist by the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA, to teach pan music. Holman's musical compositions spanned 40 years and include:
    • 1961 - Ray's Saga
    • 1970 - Socking It With Steel
    • 1972 - PanOn The Move;Up Tight; Pan Right On
    • 1973 - Pan On The Run
    • 1974 - Super Pan
    • 1977 - Panyard Vibrations
    • 1978 - The Pan Revolution
    • 1980 - Panyard Rhapsody
    • 1981 - Odyssey in Steel
    • 1982 - Musical Showdown
    • 1983 - J'Ouvert Bounce
    • 1985 - Groove Baby
    • 1987 - Pan Woman
    • 1988 - My Band
    • 1989 - Carnival Is For Woman; Life's Too Short
    • 1990 - Pan In Meh System; Plenty Lovin'
    • 1991 - Special Brew
    • 1992 - Steelband Paradise
    • 1993 - Pan
    • 1994 - Panic
    • 2001 - Heroes of Our Nation
    • 2004 - Don't Stop the Carnival
    AWARD:
    • 1988 - Trinidad & Tobago Humming Bird Medal Silver (for Contribution to the Development of Music for the Steelpan)
    Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit