Steel pan player Victor Provost grew up on the island of St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. One of his early professional experiences was playing solo pan with backing tracks at a resort in Caneel Bay. In his previous interview with Jazz Speaks, Provost talked about the importance of that experience:
I treated it like paid practice. That’s where I really started to experiment with improvisation. On steel pan, you traditionally play in a group, learning melodies, arrangements, and songs by rote. Having those solo gigs allowed me to break away and start experimenting with improvisation. By the five hundredth time you’ve played an arrangement of a tune, you get tired of doing it the same way. It was a unique opportunity. There aren’t a lot of situations that allow you to experiment as a young person.
Since then, Provost’s musical pursuits have brought him through Pittsburgh and Washington D.C., where he’s a leading member of the jazz scene and teaches at George Mason University. Provost’s album from 2017, Bright Eyes (Sunnyside), received acclaim from Downbeat, the Washington Post, and elsewhere, helping to establish Provost as a leading voice on his instrument.
This Friday, July 13, Provost returns to The Jazz Gallery to present new music composed in the aftermath of last year’s Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated the Virgin Islands. The hotel where Provost honed his craft was almost completely destroyed and has yet to reopen. For this new project, Provost will be joined by some of his regular collaborators, as well as new additions—Alex Brown on keyboards, Bob Bruya on bass, Zane Rodulfo on drums, Kweku Sumbry on percussion, and Jacques Schwarz-Bart on saxophones. Before coming to hear this deeply-felt new music at the Gallery this weekend, check out Provost and his working band take on Alex Brown’s exuberant composition “Victor’s Tune.”
Victor Provost plays The Jazz Gallery on Friday, July 13, 2018. The group features Mr. Provost on steel pan, Alex Brown on keyboards, Bob Bruya on bass, Zane Rodulfo on drums, Kweku Sumbry on percussion, and Jacques Schwarz-Bart on saxophones. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $25 general admission ($10 for members), $35 reserved cabaret seating ($20 for members) for each set. FREE for SummerPass holders. Purchase tickets here.