Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
Loudis Recital Hall
There is no charge for this event.
Victor Provost, steel pan, with UD Faculty Jazz Delaware Steel
Victor Provost is one of those rare musicians that can transcend the expectations of instrument and genre. With appearances at major venues throughout the world (including Shanghai Concert Hall, Lincoln Center's Rose Theater, the Umbria Jazz Festival, and the Kennedy Center) he has been meticulously solidifying his reputation as a master of the Steel Pan and crafting an improvisational voice and style to be reckoned with. Provost’s ability to extemporaneously weave through chord changes and tonalities with accuracy and conviction, while being thoughtful and creative, often elicits the statement “I didn’t know a steel pan could do that”. He is one of a handful of pan players in the world who have incorporated a Bebop foundation into his playing, and arguably, the only one who has expounded on that vocabulary with a modern sensibility and style.
Born and raised on the island of St. John, Provost’s musical journey began with classical piano lessons at age 10. Two years later, with the help of master teacher Jan Kinder, he won the Virgin Islands Classical Music Competition in the “Advanced Piano” category with Grieg’s A Minor Concerto (Norwegian Concerto). Later that year he heard Steel Unlimited II Youth Steel Orchestra rehearsing under the leadership of steel pan pioneer, Rudy Wells. The “Orchestra” was the flagship of the St. John School of the Arts, directed by Ruth “Sis” Frank. It was with this group of extraordinary young musicians that Provost first cut his teeth on the world stage, traveling throughout the U.S., France, Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany. The Orchestra eventually disbanded, but the experience planted the seed that prepared him to continue learning through several sessions with Wells and, in 2007, a year-long independent study with legendary Jazz Guru Charlie Banacos.
In 1998, Provost became the first steel pan player to be featured as a solo artist at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy. The experience boosted both his confidence in the craft and his musical concept. Since his move to the United States in 1999, Provost has had recorded, toured, and performed with several award-winning groups and renowned artists such as Paquito D'Rivera, Dave Samuels, Hugh Masakela, Nicolas Payton, Allison Hinds, Andy Narell, Terell Stafford, and Ron Blake, to name a few.
Along with a demanding performance schedule, Provost teaches private lessons, directs the George Mason University Steel Ensemble, and works with the Cultural Academy For Excellence, one of the premier steel pan music education program in the eastern U.S.
Victor Provost endorses Innovative Percussion Steel Pan mallets.
During the afternoon on April 26, there will be a free concert conducted by more than a dozen high school steel bands. Location will be outdoors next to the Amy E. DuPont building on the UD campus.