Amrit samaroo - Steel Pan Composer, Arranger, educator
Born 2nd July 1982, Amrit Samaroo has always been inspired by the work of his father, Jit Samaroo. During his formative years he played the tenor pan and won first place at the San Fest and School’s Music Festival in 1992 and 1999 respectively. Amrit holds an Associate Degree in Performing Arts from COSTAATT (The College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago), and Bachelor of Arts in Musical Arts from the University of the West Indies. He was the first winner of the Music Literacy Trust Fund Scholarship.
Although he enjoyed success as a pannist, his passion was arranging music for steelband. Amrit stood out from his début with the BP Renegades Youth Steel Orchestra taking them to winner’s row at the National Junior Panorama Competition in their first three years (2002-2004). In senior competition, Amrit has taken numerous bands to their respective National Panorama finals at home and abroad, including Pantime Steel Orchestra (St. Lucia 2005-2017), Adlib Steel Orchestra (United States 2016 & 2017) and BP Renegades (Trinidad and Tobago 2008 & 2009), when he stood as arranger after his father's retirement. He has also arranged music for Renegades in competitions like the "Pan is Beautiful Steelband Festival" and the "Pan Jazz Challenge" where they finished well in the top-three.
However, Amrit's mark on the steelband world has been made with the First Citizens Supernovas Steel Orchestra, as founder, band leader and musical director. Since its inception in 2010, Supernovas has soared to greatness, winning the small band competition in the 2014 panorama, second place finishes in the International Conference and Panorama and on début as a large band in 2016. The story of Supernovas and Amrit were featured in the National Geographic's Traveller Magazine and on the Japanese documentary "Earth Beat" both in 2016.
Amrit has also composed memorable “made-for-pan” calypsos such as “Breakthrough”, “T.K.O.” and the popular “Band from Space”. In 2016 he lent his talents to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee with composition of the theme song, "Bleeding Red, White and Black" performed by Roderick "Chuck" Gordon. His duets for pan and conventional instruments, "Waltz of the Dame Lorraine" & "Dance of the Fancy Sailor" were featured in the National Steel Symphony Orchestra's "Pan on a Higher Note" concert series in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
As an educator, Amrit has conducted workshops in pan-playing techniques, steelband history and steelband arranging at the 'Pan New England Steel Band Festival' (2008); 'PANorama Steel Band Festival' (2011) and 'PANfest' (2015) in Virginia Beach. Amrit has also shared his knowledge and experiences in new markets for the instrument such as Singapore (2016) and China (2017) in exhibitions and workshops.
Amrit is also currently a musician and a staff arranger of the National Steel Symphony Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago where he has performed for world leaders and royalty, including Queen Elisabeth II of the United Kingdom, King Juan Carlos of Spain and the United States President Barack Obama.