PANCH Award 2005 for Wilbert Junior Gill
panchpreis-JuniorGil.jpg On the occasion of the Steelbandfestival Männedorf, PANCH awarded for the first time a personality for his merits in steelband music. A person who is well renowned as musician and a big promoter of musical education for kids: Wilbert Junior Gill.
Junior was born in London. His family originates from Barbados. In his childhood he learnt to play the piano, vibraphone, marimba, bongos and pan. His friend Tamla Batra encouraged him to get the theoretical background in music. So he studied music and mathematics in Middlesex.
A few highlights in his career:
  • 1978 - at the age of 15, first television show on BBC with his steelband
  • 1979 - playing with London All Stars at Notting Hill Carneval
  • Captain and arranger of "Glissando Steel Orchestra
  • 1991 he came to Switzerland
  • 1994 10th in the solo competition of Pan is Beautiful Classic Music Festival in Trinidad
  • 1995 he founded the Swiss National Steel Orchestra, the first big swiss steelband, with which he also participated in the Pan is Beautiful Steelband Festival in Trinidad
  • 1997 he founded the Wilbert Gill Steelpan School
  • 1999 he was one of the three main teachers of the "Master Class for Jazz and Improvisation" at the "Langnauer Jazz Nights". And he produced a CD with Monty Alexander and his brother Larry.
  • 2000 he participated in the Youth Steelband Festival in Barbados with his kids band "Kool Kats"
  • 2001 he founded the Music Center Affoltern, a music school especially for kids and youngsters.
  • Since 2001 he is touring with the drummer Billy Cobham and his project "Culture Mix". Junior composed the title song of the CD "Culture Mix". He is touring all over Europe, America, Dubai and Moscow.

Junior played on many stages - with celebrities like Phil Colliins, Santana, George Duke and many many more.

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