Tobagonian-born, Houston-based pannist Rony Perry has been a friend of mine since the late 90′s. We first came into contact via my old venture “De Rumshop Lime”, a Trinbagonian chatroom which he eventually came to co-moderate, and where he also eventually met his wife! In the past he’s shared with me the music of his uncle, Alston Jack (who some of you may remember from his appearance on the Cosby Show) and even lent his talents to my own projects. Most recently he allowed me to use his track “Caribbean Sunrise” for my GlamByRequest promos A true son of the soil, Rony returns every year for Carnival, and this year is certainly no exception. Before he jetted on board his flight I knew I had to have him on for the last pre-Mas episode of “Sweet Han’”.
TG: You come from a musical family, can you tell us more about them and how they influenced you to pursue pan as a profession?
RP: I get my musical gene mostly from my Mother’s side. As a teenager, my uncle encouraged me to take up the keyboard, and I began playing gigs and parties around Houston. A few years later, another uncle came on a tour with the Tobago All Stars steelband to Houston. After the tour, they left a few pans, and from there I learned to play the pan. I was always encouraged to practice and learn the instruments, and with my uncles being recording artists, they became a heavy influence on my style.
TG: Who are some of your heroes/role models? Why have they touched/inspired you?
RP: Of course my uncles. My parents as well for nurturing me and keeping me on track. But as a musician, you listen to all the greats who came before, so I could go through a laundry list of names. I can start with Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Ken “Professor” Philmore, Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Oscar Peterson, Monty Alexander, to name only a few. I enjoy listening to them, and doing the things they do. They help influence my style and guide me as to what type of selections to play, and how music should be played.
TG: When at home, what do you like to eat?
TG: Do you consider yourself a good home cook?
RP: I’m alright. I could always use some pointers. If I put forth the effort, I think I could do some damage in the kitchen ))
TG: What is your favourite dish to prepare?
RP: I love to prepare chicken pelau. It is so quick and easy. I like to use pigeon peas in mine.
Learn more about Rony on his Facebook page.
Listen to Rony play on Episode 7 of “Sweet Han’: Caribbean Cooking with Sarina”. .