Jaischelle, 13, carries on family tradition of playing pan

TT – The steelpan isn’t known for being the easiest instrument to play. But 13-year-old Jaischelle James is taking the time to perfect the craft with the help of her family and Proman Starlift Steel Orchestra.

She said of all the instruments, she chose this one because she comes from a family that is rich in the history of the pan.

“My grandfather, Cecil “Jimo” James, has been involved for over 60 years as well as my great aunt, Daisy James-McClean, who was the first woman to play the steelpan,” Jaischelle told Newsday Kids.

“I feel proud knowing that she is my family and her accomplishments has also brought history to my name. She has inspired me to keep playing.”

Pan Trinbago Keith Simpson told Newsday Kids James-McLean is known to be one of the first women to play the steelpan and has been doing so for 70 years now. She’s played for Casablanca and a number of other bands, but now is leader of her very own band, Harlem Syncopators Steel Orchestra.

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