Ken “Professor” Philmore, one of this country’s leading steelpan arranger, composer and ace pannist, died at the Intensive Care Unit of the San Fernando General Hospital around 9.30 am on Sunday.
Philmore, 58, succumbed to internal injuries he suffered in a crash on the Republic Day holiday, September 24. He sustained broken ribs and his lungs had collapsed, doctors reported.
Philmore was driving his Toyotal Hilux van north along the Solomon Hochoy Highway when he picked up a skid near Claxton Bay at around 8.45 am.
The vehicle flipped several times and Philmore was thrown out of the cabin. Reports stated that he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
His wife, Sophia Philmore, had called on the nation to pray for her husband.
Philmore began his steelpan career with Hatters and then moved to Fonclaire, where he settled in 1981. He also began a successful career in composing.
In 1988, he appeared with international artistes Tina Tuner and Lionel Hamptom in New York. He was honoured by Pan Trinbago as one of the most promising arrangers.
Following his death, Leader of the Opposition, Kamla Persad-Bissessar issued the following release:
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ken “Professor” Philmore, and I join in paying tribute to a musical giant and distinguished son of Trinidad and Tobago, one who has made immense contributions to steelpan music and culture.
“If ever there was an inspiring story of knowing what you are meant to become and working towards fulfilling your goals, it is the story of Ken “Professor” Philmore’s life. His enthrallment with pan began at the tender age of four, and he began playing with Hatters Steel Orchestra in San Fernando at just 15 years old. His talents as a pannist and arranger were refined over the course of several decades, and it was clear that pan was his passion and his calling.
“Ken’s dedication to his craft resulted in a tremendous body of work from this incredibly talented musician, and also earned him international acclaim.
“Today is truly a sad one for our nation, and I join with the national community in mourning the loss of Ken Philmore, but also call on all citizens to celebrate his life and musical legacy.
“May his soul rest in peace and may his loved ones be comforted in the knowledge that his music will undoubtedly continue to inspire generations to come and will endure for eternity.
“On behalf of the Opposition and on my own behalf, I offer condolences to his family, friends and the pan fraternity.”
THE BADLY DAMAGED VEHICLE
KEN ‘PROFESSOR’ PHILMORE