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Steel Island


"Tony Slater has superior knowledge and tuning technique. He can trouble
shoot in order to tune and repair a note in a timely manner without fishing
around, trying to find the right place to strike. He goes directly to the
problem, making every stroke count,which results in less wear and tear on
the instrument. When you add the fact that he is so friendly and personable,
                               he is definitely my choice as tuner."

                               Carlos Torres - Percussion Director 
           VMT School of Communications and Fine Arts , Laredo, Texas

There is hardly a pan innovation existing in Trinidad that hasnít been in collaboration with Tony Slater due to his  uncanny feel for the metal used in them and his intuitive method of working with it.  His genius in fabrication and tuning will give shape and voice to any steelpan design, concept, or invention anyone can imagine.  He worked with the legendary leader of  The Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, Rudolph Charles, on his designs. He has worked with Bertie Marshall since 1965, learning his unique tuning techniques, pretuning, and collaborating on all his inventions and innovations including  the most recent, the perfecting of the design for  sustainable tuning and tonal quality of the Bore Pan

Because of Slaterís endless contributions to the pans of   Desperadoes, the bands sponsor, West Indian Tobago Company, awarded him their Recognition of Service award. The Desperadoes currently play his pans.  He has toured England, Nigeria, Cuba, and the United States as the blender for various bands.   When Slater was tuning for Trinidad's Movant Laventille Secondary School, the band won many Schools' Panorama 1st Place Championships for Carnival.  He currently tunes for Arima Senior Comprehensive School.  He also tunes and blends for bands in Japan, New York, and musicians and schools in Texas. 

Slater has been evolving the techniques used to improve the sound of the steelpan by studying and working the metal for 35 years.  He continually educates  panmakers, band  leaders,  and  professors on  the absolute necessity of a pan being constructed correctly from the beginning.  He teaches that each note is to be set properly in order for it to produce its distinct fundamental tone as well as make it capable of being tuned harmonically correct and then blend successfully with every other note on the pan. Slater taught a yearís course on constructing and tuning steelpans for the Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Culture to members of the Trinidad & Tobago Police Force,  the Trinidad & Tobago Army, and the Nigerian Army.  He conducted a workshop on steel pan construction, tuning, and performance techniques at North Texas State University School of Music. 

Tony Slater is charting  the future course of steelpan development and standardization.  His superior tuning capabilities can meet the specifications demanded by any band or musician for better tonality.

Tony Slater clinic at Tyler Junior College



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