Robert Greenidge

Robert Greenidge was born 28 April 1950, Success Village, Laventille, Trinidad.

His steelpan journey began at the age of eight under the tutelage of his uncle Carl Greenidge. (Carl, also from Laventille, was a renowned arranger and tuner for the Savoy Steel Orchestra who later went on to arrange for Desperadoes in the early 1960s.)

Robert started to learn the rudiments of music with the Savoy steel Orchestra, and this training helped him when he moved on to join the City Kids from Belmont, another steelband run by a member of his extended family.

In 1965 at the age of 15, he joined the Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, and a year later Desperadoes went on to win the Panorama finals for the first time.

For more than three decades Robert studied and worked along with several steelpan icons including Rudolph Charles, Emmanuel “Corbeau Jack” Riley, Beverley Griffith, Clive Bradley, Pat Bishop and Bertie Marshall. His time with the Desperadoes shaped his future by his success in taking pan into the commercial and international arena. The list below shows his main achievements during this period of time.

1966 – he performed at the first Negro Arts Festival in Africa

1967 – he performed at the Montreal Exposition in Canada

1968 – he performed in London, Zambia and New York

1970 – he joined the Trinidad National Steel Orchestra and also performed as a soloist

1971 - he migrated to New York, where he studied composing and arranging

1974 – he moved to Los Angeles, California

1975 – he began to work with several recording artists such as John Lennon, Ringo Star, Grover Washington and Barry Manilow

1978 – he formed his own steelband – Los Angeles Despers

1978 - he toured the Hawaiian Islands, Europe, Africa, Australia, US and Japan with Taj Mahal

1983 – he began to tour with singer, songwriter Jimmy Buffett in US, Australia and the Hawaiian Islands as a member of the Coral Reefer Band

1984 – his band Los Angeles Despers Steel Orchestra entertained the Olympics teams and guests

1985 – he became the manager and arranger of the Desperadoes

1991 – he won Panorama with his own composition "Musical Volcano"

1992 – he performed for the president of the United States – President Clinton's Inauguration

1993 – he received the "Hummingbird Medal" for outstanding achievement in the musical arts

1994 - he won Panorama with his own composition "Fire Coming Down"

1995 – he performed for President Clinton's surprise birthday party at the White House

In addition to the above mentioned accomplishments, Robert has also

  • recorded many movie sound tracks including 48 hours and Cool Runnings
  • performed on television shows such as the Jackson Five Special, the Fall Guy and the Jay Leno show 
  • lectured at Brooklyn College New York, University of North Texas and Northern Illinois University
  • recorded many albums as a solo artist and in collaboration with other musicians

In 2013, the final year of Panorama in its present format, he took Desperadoes to sixth place.

In 2014, he performed at the British Association of Steelbands' Annual Awards.