He is called the Mozart of the steel pan, a legend, and a genius. And while all those things are true, the composer, arranger and teacher doesn’t brag.
He is humble and acknowledges that his talent was a gift from God.
At heart, Len 'Boogsie' Sharpe is a Caribbean man. He’s someone who has a desire to help other people develop and realise their potential.
The Trinidadian steel pan maestro was in Barbados recently for Pan weekend and he was certainly a treat for those who attended the SigniaGlobe Pan Yard Lime, First Citizens Fusions and Massy Pan Pun De Sand, where he played with his band Phase II Pan Groove.
He sat down with Easy recently at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort to share his story.
Boogsie has played in Australia, Japan, Berlin, and South Africa, among other places, putting pan music on the map.
The 65-year-old has played with many musicians in and outside of the Caribbean in various genres of music, including Nicholas Brancker, who he described as “a genius”. He is also in awe of Cultural Ambassador Gabby, who he said was a legend.
“I have a lot of history in pan”, he said without boast before listing bands he’s worked with such as Starlift, Desperadoes, Invaders, Silver Stars, and Renegades.
Boogsie has been recognised by the Trinidad government for his accomplishments receiving the Hummingbird Silver Medal and the Hummingbird Gold Medal. He was bestowed a Distinguished Fellow Gentleman from the University of Trinidad and Tobago, a degree similar to the University West Indies’ honorary doctorate. Among numerous other honours, he listed being an honorary member of Rotary Club East. (GBM)
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