The steel pan isn’t an instrument that immediately springs to mind when discussing jazz, but steel pan virtuoso LEON FOSTER THOMAS is on a mission to change that.
Leon has a Bachelor of Music degree from Florida Memorial University and a Master of Music degree from Florida International University and he’s developed a steel pan sound that blends his Caribbean roots with the harmonic and improvisational complexities of jazz, As you can imagine, it’s a unique sound!
Hear that sound in full flow on his upcoming album ‘Calasantius’ – dedicated to his mother, Hillouise Calasanitus Foster. The seven tracker is the musician’s third long player and it clearly showcase his very personal blend of Caribbean influences and spirit which evolve from his Trinidadian heritage, combined with dexterous and innovative jazz complexity. Amongst the highlights on the album is the laid back, Cheers’ – a potential, chill out classic.
Speaking about the creative process behind Calasantius, Foster says: “My goal for this album was to compose music that provokes thought by everyone who listens to it, and that they will appreciate music as art and not as a form of passive consumption. Each song was written with its own storyline that all, in some way, connect to my mother. The title, Calasanitus, is my mother’s middle name. Though it’s meaning was never shared nor could one be found, I felt this was the most appropriate title to represent this compilation. Most importantly, it was a name she loved. This has been on my mind for a very long time now and I couldn’t be happier to finally have the opportunity to record this special tribute. Hillouise Foster was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed away June 9th, 2007.”
LEON FOSTER THOMAS: ‘Calasantius’ is self -released on March 3rd.