Happy Birthday Ellie Mannette
To the man whose life has been dedicated to the creation and development of the steel pan – an instrument that however familiar to those who play, fabricate, and tune it is somehow full of mystery and power, with secrets yet to be revealed – I wish you a happy birthday.
Much has been written about your history and accomplishments. The total, however is so much more than the sum of its parts. You and a handful of others gave birth to this instrument so many years ago out of a deeply ingrained desire to communicate and create through music. Phrases like: “…only new acoustic musical instrument developed in the 20th century…” totally fail to capture the impact that the creation of the steel pan has had on the multitudes of people who have had the good fortune to encounter it since its humble inception.
You have given the world so much of yourself and no words can pay back your generosity.
So on behalf of the steel pan community world wide – if I may be so bold – I invite you accept the only gift that seems appropriate to show our appreciation and that is our continued investment in carrying the Steel Pan into the future for the benefit of those whom it has yet to reach.