Trinidad's National Archives pays tribute composer Len Boogsie Sharpe

Trinidad’s National Archives pays tribute composer Len Boogsie Sharpe

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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago paid tribute to renowned composer and arranger Lennox Len Boogsie Sharpe on August 15, 2023.

Known primarily as the band leader of Hadco Phase II Pan Groove, Sharpe has revolutionised pan through his dynamic musical arrangements that fuse funk, jazz, calypso and soca.

As per the update, Sharpe was born on October 28, 1953, and grew up in the former panyard of the Symphonettes. He won his first prize on the pan when he was four or five years old, all while having to stand on a cinder block to play because the pan was taller than he was.

As a teenager, he joined Starlift, a small band founded by Ray Holman, and two years later, at the age of 15, he started composing. His talents were innate, and he continued developing them as he grew older until he could play every kind of steelpan instrument. In addition to having a perfect pitch (the ability to recognise or recreate a note without any musical references), Sharpe is a master of pan improvisation and also can memorise his musical pieces.

The National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago further informed the general public about the life and career struggles of the legendary composer. It noted that throughout the years, Sharpe established himself as a trailblazer and is especially known for using his original compositions at Panorama instead of the more popular calypsoes.

Accordingly, at age 20, Sharpe formed his own band: Phase II Pan Groove. The band won their first Panorama competition in 1980, and in 1987, they won with his composition, “This Feeling Nice.”

In total, Sharpe has won seven national Panorama titles and played for numerous bands across the country. Some of these are Hadco Phase II Pan Groove, Renegades, All Stars, Desperados, and Silver Stars.