happy birthday contrast
The month of October this year marks Contrast’s 43rd birthday. Being established in 1974 makes Contrast amongst one of the oldest steel bands in the country.
Contrast Steelband was established through the creative vision of George Fisher with a humble set of pans costing just £265 and a vision to instill the steel pan in the hearts of the community of Leicester. He recruited a pan tutor named Cyprian Cuthbert Jean-Jacques a.k.a ‘Cy’ and began teaching steel pan lessons in schools across the City and County. Eventually, due to the popularity of the lessons, Contrast Steelband was formed in 1974!
George later left Contrast in the hands of Cy and moved away to Coventry where he then formed the band Phase 1! Cy remained with the band until 2002 when he retired and moved back home to St. Kitts & Nevis, and handed the band over to our current leader Pat Munroe.
Cy … Mr. Jacques … Mr. Contrast, he had many names! (He was always Mr. Jacques to me!) unfortunately passed away in 2010 and we received the news on the morning of the National Panorama Steelband competition. Although he’s gone, he still means the world to every member of Contrast, both past and present because without him, there wouldn’t be a Contrast Steelband and none of us would have pan in our lives! Rest peacefully Mr. Jacques x
3 years ago in 2014, we celebrated our big 40th birthday by hosting an event with lots of food, lots of music and plenty good vibes! We invited friends, family and people from the pan community from around the country and we had a full house! We had a great day and our guests all left with full bellies and enjoyed an evening of music ranging from our more modern repertoire and Contrast classics reminiscent of the days of Mr. Jacques and the authentic old school Contrast sound.
Very much looking forward to bigger birthday celebrations for our 50th! But for now, Happy Birthday Contrast!To all of the past and present members, to the longstanding members and our newer recruits, to our band leader Pat Munroe, and most definitely, to Mr. Jacques x
Keepin' it Steel