Trinidadian musician, who took steel pan music ‘by storm’, dies

Ken “Professor” Philmore at Trinidad and Tobago’s 2015 Panorama finals, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Fonclaire Steel Orchestra. Photo by Maria Nunes, used with permission

On Sunday, one week after being seriously injured in a car accident, Ken “Professor” Philmore, one of Trinidad and Tobago’s foremost steel pan composers and arrangers, passed away.

By all accounts, Philmore had always been fascinated with the country’s national instrument, even as a young child. He began playing with pan groups in his early teens, where he earned the moniker “Professor” thanks to his serious-looking spectacles, and quickly developed into an exemplary soloist.

Philmore began arranging with south Trinidad-based steel orchestras like Hatters and Fonclaire in the…

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