Born: January 20, 1881 Primary Instrument: Drums, steel
Biography When asked, how long he has been playing the steel drums or “pan” as it is sometimes called Victor Provost’s typical facetious response is “longer than I haven't”.
Provost began his musical journey at the age of 10. Born and raised in the US Virgin Islands, Provost’s interest and subsequent love affair with the steel drums began at the St. John School of the Arts. There, he became a member of the youth steel pan orchestra, Steel Unlimited II, and under the guidance of Mr. Rudy Wells, was able to develop, hone and share his musical gift.
Steel Unlimited dissolved in 1995, and after much encouragement by family, friends and teachers, Provost began his solo career. His first solo performance led to opportunities at various venues including the once Rockefeller owned Caneel Bay Resort and Reichhold Center for the Arts.
While Provost was exposed to a plethora of music including Reggae, Blues, Soul, Classical and of course, Calypso, his love for Jazz proved undeniable. In 1999 he became the first steel pan player to be featured at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy.
During a six year residency in Pittsburgh, Provost became well known among Jazz enthusiasts and musicians alike. He performed at many local clubs including the World Famous Crawford Grill, “home-base” to such Jazz greats as George Benson and Stanley Turntine.
Having performed across North America, Europe and the Caribbean, he has toured with the award winning Real Silk Band, and 21st Century Band (Featuring Ron Blake and Dion Parson) and recorded with artists such as Dion Parson, Dwayne Dolphin, Lafayette Harris Jr., Ken Karsh, James Johnson III, Tim Adams and Roger Humphries.
Provost’s diverse musical background has allowed him to develop a unique voice on his instrument of choice. He weaves melodic and harmonic phrases together during improvisations, often reflecting nuances of horn or piano lines. His genuinely authentic approach to Caribbean music and intellectual approach to all other genres makes him one of the most highly sought after pan players in the region.
Victor currently teaches at The Cultural Academy For Excellence, in Hyattsville, MD and performs full-time.
Tracks: Ventana; Ducks of Boston
Victor Provost: Steelpan
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