ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Daron Roberts, M.M. is a multi-faceted percussionist, composer, educator and performer, currently based in Norfolk, Virginia where he serves as the Rhythm Project Associate Director. He earned his Master’s Degree in Individualized Specialization – Steelpan from Northern Illinois University and his Bachelors in Music Performance – Percussion from the University of Southern Mississippi with a minor in Recording Industry.
Born and raised in the beautiful Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, this music prodigy found his rhythm for music as a toddler and began performing by the tender age of two. By age five, he began regularly playing the drum set for his local church, and with a prominent youth Steelband called Golden Hands Steel Orchestra.
As a teenager, Daron was the youngest in his country to earn the Trinity Guildhall ATCL Diploma Certificate in Drum Kit Recital, along with awards such as the National Youth Award of Trinidad & Tobago for Music, and various titles in the Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival, namely, Most Outstanding Junior Solo Instrumental Performer, Most Outstanding Junior Steelpan Performer, and Leisure Players Instrumental Solo Improvisation on Steelpan.
Daron has participated in several live and studio recordings where he can be heard on steel pan, drum set, and auxiliary percussion. Albums such as “Pure Gold” and “Under the Sapodilla Tree” by Golden Hands Steel Orchestra, “Music Over Me” by gospel-jazz vocalist – Kezie Peters, “Scatterbrain” by funk-fusion band – Friends Fly South, and “F.A.B. 105” by Daron’s Latin-jazz trio – LAC Connection. In addition to these recordings, he has had the privilege to share the stage with world class musicians such as Liam Teague, Andy Narell, Victor Provost, Richie Gajaté Garcia, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Dan Hearle, Bill Summers, and Raf Robertson, just to name a few.
ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE PIECE: 3 Short Pieces for Tenor and Bass Steelpans
Asada’s unique work, 3 Short Pieces for Tenor and Bass Steelpans, features a rare combination of tenor steelpan (the highest voice in the steelpan family) and the bass steelpan (the lowest).
I. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) showcases the HIIT workout musically. With rapid movement and wide intervals used throughout, this highly intense piece ended up becoming a physical workout especially for a bass pan player.
II. Departure was inspired by the passing of a steelpan pioneer, Dr. Ellie Mannette. The piece exhibits strong emotions with sorrow, and the beauty of a soul departing to a warm and bright place. A mixture of darkness and lightness, and unknown mystery of life and death is portrayed at the end.
III. Esque is a tango-esque dance, in which the lead and support roles shift between the tenor and the bass in various sections. Both voices come together with ostinati to the last section that ends with a climactic coda.