jeff narell

Jeff Narell is an internationally known steel panist, Afro-Caribbean percussionist, educator-clinician, and recording artist who has dedicated his life to promoting the artform and expanding the musical range of the steel pan.

Jeff was initiated into the world of steel pan at the age of eleven by the very first West Indians to arrive in New York City with authentic knowledge. Pan became his passion and a gift that he has passed down to new generations. In schools from elementary through university, and through music programs under the auspices of the San Francisco Symphony Education Department, Jeff has introduced tens of thousands of students to steel pans.

Equally at home with the traditional steel band or as a soloist in contemporary musical settings, he has played on four big box office Hollywood movies, worked with Olatungi, Bobby McFerrin, George Benson, The Grateful Dead and appeared as guest artist-composer on the Grammy nominated Patato, Changuito, Vilato: Rhythm at the Crossroads CD in the Latin Jazz category. Narell received the Hollywood Dramalogue award for best theatrical score for The Tempest commissioned by the California Shakespeare Co.

Jeff’s original composition “Ellie Man” was a top tune played by steel orchestras island wide for Trinidad Carnival 2003. A tribute to his mentor, Ellie Mannette, the father of the modern steel pan, it was sung and recorded in collaboration with Trini calypso star Crazy and performed by Ellie’s original steel orchestra, Invaders, at Panorama. The tune of choice by steel orchestras in five countries, Ellie Man captured the crown in Toronto’s Caribana Festival.

Performing live and producing his original CDs, Jeff continues to forge a unique musical vision with pan.

Photo of Jeff Narell