PLACE OF BIRTH: Santa Flora, Trinidad
EDUCATION: Tacarigua Orphanage (St. Michael's Home)
  • Trinidad All Stars (1980s - 1998
  • Desperadoes (2006)
  • Birdsong (2008- 2009)
  • Tokyo (2013)
  • Player
  • Arranger
  • Saxophonist
  • CAREER:                                       Quarless grew up in the St Michael's Home in Tacarigua where his mother worked and he received his first exposure to music and training. He learned to play the clarinet and was taught to read music at the age of 11. Over the ensuing years, he played tenor saxaphone behind calypso legends Lord Kitchener, Lord Melody, and Stalin, learning from the charts of renowned arrangers Art DeCoteau, Ron Berridge, Clive Bradley, and Frankie Francis. He made his living playing, recording and arranging music for almost half a century.

    In 1976, after seven years of playing in the calypso tents, Quarless toured New York as the musical director for Lord Shorty and ended up staying in the USA for 17 years before returning to Trinidad. Quarless played with Brass Express and other Trinidadian groups in New York and appeared on such legendary hits as Arrow's "Hot, Hot, Hot" and Lord Kitchener's "Pan in A Minor." During the 1980s and early 1990s, he worked with nearly every major calypsonian including Sparrow, Kitchener, Melody, David Rudder, Shadow, Swallow, Brother Mudada, Superblue, Explainer, and Merchant. He started learning pan when he was in the police band and, while still a youth, teamed up with Robert Greenidge to arrange for Gay Flamingos which later became Exodus. After relocating to New York, he started playing the steelpan with Lord Observer, regularly doing gigs in Long Island. He arranged for many Trinidad steelbands including Desperadoes, Harmonites, Tokyo, Birdsong, Harlem Syncopaters, Defense Force, Dixieland, and Tokyo. He was the musical director at Parry's Pan School for many years and arranged for their Panorama and music festival bands.

    Quarless was the musical arranger for the Trinidad All Stars and took the band to 3rd Place and 2nd Place in the 1993 and 1994 Panorama Finals, respectively. He later moved to Birdsong. In addition to his work with the steelbands, Quarless worked on several calypso albums including the late Garfield Blackman'S (Ras Shorty I) Endless Vibrations. He was a saxophonist on numerous calypso albums. He was an integral part of the Birdsong Academy music programme where he trained quite a number of young people in sight-reading music. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Quarless commuted every year between New York and Trinidad. While in Brooklyn, he arranged for various steelbands including D'Radoes, Pantonics, Despers USA, Harmony, Umoja, New York All Stars, and Metro. In 1999, he co-founded and served as musical director of Jah Pan, a popular New York small pan ensemble area that recorded two CDs. Quarless returned to Brooklyn in the summer of 2013 to work with Jah Pan and arrange for Metro before becoming ill.

    DIED: On August 31, 2014, in New York, USA, after a long battle with cancer.
    Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit