Jeff Narell is an internationally known steel panist, Afro-Caribbean percussionist, educator-clinician, and recording artist who has dedicated his life to promoting the artform and expanding the musical range of the steel pan.
Jeff was initiated into the world of steel pan at the age of eleven by the very first West Indians to arrive in New York City with authentic knowledge. Pan became his passion and a gift that he has passed down to new generations. In schools from elementary through university, and through music programs under the auspices of the San Francisco Symphony Education Department, Jeff has introduced tens of thousands of students to steel pans.
Equally at home with the traditional steel band or as a soloist in contemporary musical settings, he has played on four big box office Hollywood movies, worked with Olatungi, Bobby McFerrin, George Benson, The Grateful Dead and appeared as guest artist-composer on the Grammy nominated Patato, Changuito, Vilato: Rhythm at the Crossroads CD in the Latin Jazz category. Narell received the Hollywood Dramalogue award for best theatrical score for The Tempest commissioned by the California Shakespeare Co.
Jeff’s original composition “Ellie Man” was a top tune played by steel orchestras island wide for Trinidad Carnival 2003. A tribute to his mentor, Ellie Mannette, the father of the modern steel pan, it was sung and recorded in collaboration with Trini calypso star Crazy and performed by Ellie’s original steel orchestra, Invaders, at Panorama. The tune of choice by steel orchestras in five countries, Ellie Man captured the crown in Toronto’s Caribana Festival.
Performing live and producing his original CDs, Jeff continues to forge a unique musical vision with pan.
When you see and hear the numbers 510 you think of the East Bay area code and home of the west coast jazz, blues, funk, Caribbean and Latin music scene ladened with generations of multi-cultural artists, activist, poets and musicians. 510 has been the center and progressive ground for some of the nation’s most exciting performances from the Oakland Coliseum and Greek Theater to the Paramount and Fox Theaters. The 510 area code is synonymous with great entertainment.
The musical group FIVE TEN represent the future of those great performances with extreme musicianship, well crafted tunes and an exciting array of instrumentation…including the mysterious sound of the steel pan from Trinidad played by pan virtuoso Jeff Narell, along side multi-keyboard master Steve Carter and a world class rhythm section consisting of the excellent bass playing of Dennis Smith and stellar drumming of Joel Smith plus the colorful sounds of nature by Brazilian percussion master Marquinho Brasil.
Five Ten is the sound of modern jazz with world rhythms presented with class and sophistication. Songs such as the clever rearrangement of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana illustrate the band’s innovative application of the East Bay sound. The members of FIVE TEN have graced the world’s stages and are set to satisfy and entertain.