Artist Profiles: Len Boogsie Sharpe

Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1953 ‘Boogsie’ as he is known began to play the steelpan at the age of three. The beginning of a career that has seen him as a player composer and arranger taking the steel pan to new heights.

Interestingly though ‘Boogsie’ cannot read a note of music his dexterity as a player has brought him acclaim from his peers for his ability to adept his playing to suit any musical genre or style.

This self-taught virtuoso of the steel pan is also an accomplished pianist composer producer and the founder of the Phase II Pan Groove Steel Orchestra one of the notable pan orchestras in Trinidad and Tobago the cradle and Mecca of the Steel Pan.

Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe was the first steel pan player to win the National Panorama finals with his own composition.

Thanks to his prowess as a composer and arranger ‘Boogsie’ has worked with numerous (18) pan orchestras in Trinidad and Tobago as well as pan orchestras in Antigua the U.K. and the U.S.A.

His arrangements and compositions span a variety of musical genres including , Calypso, Classical and Jazz.

His versatility has taken him to bandstands workshops and recording studios with such Jazz greats as: Wynton Marsalis Grover Washinton Jr Art Blakey Randy Weston Gary Burton Ginger Baker Monty Alexander Max Roach and Tony Williams.

In the Caribbean he has also worked with several world-famous Calypso and Soca-Icons to name a few: The Mighty Sparrow, Lord Kitchener, Baron Duke, Black Stalin and Chalkdust.

As a soloist or as part of a group ‘Boogsie’ has amazed audiences in the Caribbean, Canada, Japan, the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the U.S.A., and Australia.

His travels have made him an official ‘Ambassador of the Steel Pan’.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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