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T&T pan maker chosen for Percussive Hall of Fame
T&T’s and Northern Illinois University’s (NIU) Cliff Alexis, steelpan builder and tuner, and co-director of the world-renowned NIU Steel Band, is among four prominent percussionists chosen for induction to the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame.
The induction of the quartet, all important figures who have shaped the percussion world through their innovations, performances and scholarly work, takes place on November 14, during the 39th annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention at the Indianapolis Convention Center, USA.
Other 2013 inductees are Harold Jones, Gary Olmstead and Salvatore Rabbio.
Alexis is internationally recognised within the steelpan community for his generous contributions as a performer, composer, arranger, tuner, builder and educator.
He has been playing in various steelbands since age 14, Alexis has performed all over the world for such luminaries as Queen Elizabeth II, the Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie and President Senghor of Senegal.
One of the first members of the National Steel Orchestra of T&T in 1964, he moved to the US in 1965 and became an important educator and clinician. Employed at the NIU School of Music since 1986, Alexis is equally regarded for his performance, teaching, composing and arranging skills on the instrument of his homeland.
Alexis has appeared with several university ensembles and played and presented at Elgin Community College, the Birch Creek Music Center, the Singapore Festival of the Arts and the National Institute of the Arts in Taiwan. He won the T&T Folk Arts Institute Award for his contribution to the development and education of the steelpan in the US. Pan Trinbago and the Government of T&T bestowed similar recognition for expanding the pan’s global reach.
Alexis is also an inductee in the New York-based Sunshine Awards Hall of Fame. In 2009, he won an Outstanding Service Award from the NIU Operating Staff Council.