"Bambi" grooving a pan


ANDREW   EMMANUEL   CONTANT

DATE OF BIRTH: February 18, 1931
PLACE OF BIRTH: Woodbrook, Trinidad
EDUCATION:
  • St. Agnes Anglican School
  • Woodbrook Canadian Mission School
  • CAREER:                                 Popularly known as "Bambi," Contant was a co-founder of the Woodbrook steelband Green Eyes with his brother, Michael, during the early 1950s. A pan tuner and tenor-pan player, Bambi joined the Invaders Steelband when Green Eyes folded in the mid-1950s. He went on to become very instumental in the selection and design of the clothing worn by Invaders during their stage performances. In 1956, he teamed up with several Invaders panmen, including Albert "Philo" James, Carlton "My Fan" Drayton, and "Vats" Duncan, to form the Starlift Steelband. While at Starlift, he tuned pans for other steelbands such as Renegades and Highlanders, and made a living year-round by crafting miniature tenor-pans for souvenir-hunting tourists. However, Bambi's skills extended beyond pan-tuning. He was an expert wirebender who had a leading design role in the two Carnival presentations by the Starlift Steelband that placed among the top five bands in the Band-of-the-Year competition: "Undersea Kingdom" (1957); and "Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales," (1958). Following the success of his presentations at Starlift, there was a heavy demand for his services, and Bambi went on to create the costumes for various presentations by other mas bandleaders, such as Stephen Lee Heung, Neville Aming, Peter Minshall, and Max Awon.
    AWARD:
    • 2006 - Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, City Corporation Award (for contribution to culture)
    DIED: April 30, 2006, in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, after being struck by a moving car.
    Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit