Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 12th 2013 Contents B1
The young and talented Johann Chuckaree
has been a senior front line tenor pan player
with Phase II Pan Groove which copped four
Panorama titles in 2005, 2006, 2008 and
The 23-year-old, from Woodbrook, has also
collaborated with the legendary Len "Boogsie"
Sharpe to put together the winning arrange-
ments for Phase II.
Chuckaree lends his talents to the St There-
sa s RC Church Saturday Evening Choir and
is in demand as an entertainer for many cor-
porate functions and events.
Chuckaree has been playing the pan since
the age of four and has attained the Grade 8
Certificate of Distinction in Steelpan from the
Creative Arts Centre, UWI. He has also attained
the Grade 5 Certificate of Distinction in Piano
from the Associated Boards Royal School of
Music, London and placed first in the 2006
Music Festival in the open pan solo catego-
ry.As a student at Fatima College he copped
the Fatima College Music Award in 2005, 2007,
2008 and 2009.
He has been featured on CDs with Sharpe
and David Rudder and has released two of his
own CDs to date, A Sweet Touch of Christmas
and In De Yard.
Chuckaree has had the privilege of also
playing alongside Ray Holman; has accom-
panied Phase II on cultural tours to Germany
for World Cup 2006 and to Barbados; he has
been to Indiana, New York, Texas, California
(USA), and twice to London (UK). His per-
formances in London were both in 2012 to
entertain at the T&T Olympic Cultural Village
and as a cultural representative at the World
Travel Market. Earlier this year, he appeared
at the ITB Tourism Conference in Berlin, Ger-
many. Chuckaree performed alongside Trini-
born Grammy award-winning recording artiste
Heather Headley during her first local concert
at the National Academy for Performing Arts
in December 2011.
Q: When and how did you get into the
business of entertaining?
A: At the age of 13 I was asked to perform
the National Anthem by an event co-
ordinator who had seen me perform at Phase
II s panyard and the rest is history!
Was it something you had to work hard
at or did it come naturally?
In the beginning it definitely was not easy.
The fear of facing an audience, the lights, the
silence of a crowd awaiting your first note...
But after ten years of performing and enter-
taining, it all seems second nature.
Is this your full-time "work"? If not, what
I m currently employed as a technical sup-
port officer with a major group of companies.
However, as I m quickly realising, both jobs
Where were you born and where did you
I was born and raised in Woodbrook, a
stone s throw away from Phase II Pan Groove s
panyard. Many of the older members of the
band can even remember my mother, pregnant
with me at the time, coming to the panyard
during Panorama and even as the years pro-
gressed, riding my bicycle in the panyard while
both my parents looked on. It is said that it
takes a village to raise a child. Woodbrook was
and still is to me, that village. I always like to
joke and say that the majority of my adolescent
life was spent between three locations: St
Theresa s RC Church, Fatima College and
Phase II s panyard, all in the Woodbrook area.
Who were the people who have influenced
you the most in your career and in life in
general and how did they? Who are your
role models or who inspires you?
Firstly, I d have to say most of my inspiration
comes from my family. My parents have always
been right at my side, encouraging me to work
harder and helping me to develop into who
I ve become. The mere fact that I am a musi-
cian is owed directly to them. My sisters,
Christine and Johanna, who are also musicians,
have been a source of tremendous inspiration
as they both served not only as sisters, but
also as teachers and mentors.
In terms of my musical influences, I d
undoubtedly have to say Len "Boogsie" Sharpe.
Boogsie s unique styles of arrangement, per-
formance and solos have been an unequivocal
source of knowledge, inspiration and direc-
If you could pick any singer and/or band
to perform just for you (non-West Indian),
who would you choose?
Too many to chose from! But if I had to
choose one, I d say Carlos Santana.
What do you want to accomplish with
My goal is simple. Help bring pan into the
21st Century by educating mine and our
younger generation about the treasure that
our national instrument is. There is so much
untapped potential in the area of pan in T&T
and we need to capitalise on it before it s too
late. We Trinbagonians need to open our eyes,
respect our instrument and see the value that
the "developed" world sees in our instrument.
Only then can we progress as a people.
Name your three top calypsoes (soca
Another tough one, but I d have to say the
following (in no particular order): Big Truck--
Machel Montano; Magic Drum--Machel Mon-
tano (composed by Len "Boogsie" Sharpe
WITH NASSER KHAN
Continued on Page B6
the pressures---Page B2
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