Christmas festival this weekend

This weekend’s St. John Christmas Music Festival & Parade  will highlight a number of off-island gospel, R-and-B, and Soul musicians and an outstanding island-born artist, Victor Provost

The 22-year-old "Steel Pan Man" will solo and play with other featured artists including Michael Dunston and Maryel Epps during the free Saturday and Sunday concerts being organized by St. John’s Steve Simon.  You can most likely also catch him at the Sunday afternoon Beach Bar jazz jam, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Provost grew up on St. John, where his father, Jim, was a public school teacher and is an accomplished musician who passed along his talent to Victor and his bother Eric.  Now working as an administrator of an arts program for the under-privileged in Portsmouth, Va., Provost says he’s got the perfect job, "being paid to manage and develop a steel pan band."

Radio_icon_4This week’s News of St. John podcast features an interview with Provost talking about the his music and his life growing up on island. Listen to it by clicking the > button on the player below.


How to get NOSJ podcasts automatically. Subscribe by copying this link to your podcatcher: http://fbarnako.libsyn.com/rss Or go to the iTunes Music Store, search for "st. john" and you’ll find it.

"The pan", at its most simple, is a 55-gallon steel oil drum, cut down and smoothed, that musicians use a percussion instrument.  Invented in Trinidad in the 1930s, it’s developed as an instrument capable of playing anywhere from four not to 3 octaves (28 notes).

Victor is the focus of this week’s News of St. John podcast.  Listen to it here, or subscribe through the Apple iTunes Podcast Directory, search for "News of St. John."

Hearing "pan" music on St.. John is easy, Provost said in an interview.  "Look for Innervisions, a house reggae band, which has toured the US for the past several summers.  He also recommends hearing Paradise People, featuring Carl Powell and his brother, Eric Provost.  "Anyplace downtown … Fred’s, the Front Yard, down by Wharfside … there is so much music on island, you kind of walk into it," he said.

Provost has just issued his first CD.  Here’s his Web site, where you can hear samples. You can purchase it at CDBaby.com.  Delivered, my copy cost $17.47.  Great holiday gift. The sound of the pan just says,, and plays, "St. John" to me.

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