Pan Player, Arranger, Composer

From the quiet unassuming village of Surrey, in the district of Lopinot, comes a top pannist, composer and arranger, Jit Samaroo.

He started his association with steelbands with the band Camboulay of Tunapuna when he was aged 14. He attended Arima Boys’ R.C. and became interested in steelband music when some of his neighbours, mainly boys, brought out a band.

Jit [has] four brothers and three sisters, and in 1967 they got their first set of pans. He taught his brothers and sisters; and soon enough the Samaroo kids steelband [Samaroo Jets] was born. With the formulation of this band, he made tours to North and South America, India, the Far East, Europe and the Caribbean.

He had an excellent relationship with Bertram Kellman, who as tuner, looked after the pans of the Samaroo Jets. It was by no coincidence that being the tuner [for] Renegades that Kellman recommended Jit to arrange for Renegades.

The first few years as an Arranger was not too fruitful. He arranged many of the Mighty Sparrow’s calypsos including The Statue (1976) and Hasley Crawford (1977), which was the last time he has arranged a Sparrow calypso for the Panorama competition.

From 1978 when he arranged Social Dora, with few years as exceptions, Jit has remained a strong advocate of Lord Kitcherner.

Between 1982 to date [1996] Jit has won the Panorama competition at least eight times.
[Jit won again, when in 1997, Renegades playing his arrangement of Kitcherners Guitar Pan, beat Phase II Pan Groove by a narrow margin.]

In the area of classical music, the Samaroo family and Jit in particular made their mark. In the years 1972 and 1973 the band made the finals of The Musical Festival, so too in 1980.

The decade of the 1980s echoed the promise and future of a first class musician.

Jit, besides arranging Panorama pieces for such bands as Our Boys of Tobago, Trinidad Nostalgia, Deltones and Cordettes, also composed the test pieces for the 1985 and 1987 School Steelband Music Festival with the pieces Pan Patterson and Song of Lopinot.

Jit in his early years had as his musical advisor, Dr Gordon Maliphant, former head of the Citrus Research Unit at the University of the West Indies, and [also a] Mr Londeg White. [Dr Maliphant has since left Trinidad] for Africa.

Jit Samaroo is a name in the steelband music who brings joy, creativity [and] excitability to steelband music. His triumphs over the years ha[ve] been as a result of hard work and dedication. He is meticulous but quite unassuming.

© 1997 Gideon Maxime: Pg 216; PAN THROUGH THE YEARS (1952 - 1996)

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© 1997: tobagojo@gmail.com - 19971209 - Ud1 - 19991204 - 1m20071228 - 2m20140615
Historic Update: 03 July 2005; Last Update: 19 July 2014 03:30:00 TT
Processed by: Jeremy G de Barry

Compiled & Processed by Islands Research for:
The Steelbands (Pan) of Trinidad & Tobago

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