Chantal Esdelle and Moyenne
Chantal Esdelle and Moyenne is a Caribbean Jazz Group from Trinidad and Tobago deeply rooted in the kaiso and steelpan traditions of the twin island state. The group combines the unique sound of the steelpan with the traditional rhythm section (keys, bass, drums). Their kaiso and steelpan foundation is a result of every member having been nurtured and groomed in some of Trinidad’s leading steel bands, including; Tropical Angel Harps, Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, Phase II Pan Groove, Fonclaire and Birdsong and Renegades Steel Orchestra. Moyenne has performed with leading calypsonians the Mighty Sparrow and the Black Stalin, and famed pannist Len Boogsie Sharpe, and has made regional appearances in Cuba, Jamaica, Dominica, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago. Performances of note include the Havana International Jazz Festival (2004 and 2014), Pan Royale, The Tobago Jazz Experience, Jazz on the Beach, Jazz Artists on the Greens and the Grenada Spice Jazz Festival. Moyenne also topped the Trinidad and Tobago Steelpan and Jazz Festival pan challenge placing third in 2012 and winning in 2013. The EJC’s Jazz Studio has been Moyenne’s performance home since 2014 and has been the site of scores of presentations by the group of its original compositions and arrangements of music from Trinidad’s musical anthology.
Founding members Chantal Esdelle (keys, vocals), Glenford Sobers (steelpans) and Donald Noel (percussion) launched the band in 1998 at Trinidad’s historically acclaimed cultural club, “The Mas’ Camp Pub.” In the twenty years since, Moyenne’s legacy has been enhanced by the presence of many of Trinidad’s treasures including Douglas Redon who became the group’s resident bassist in 2003, Jason Baptiste, pannist with the group from 2002 - 2007 and Darren Sheppard, drummer with the group from 2009 - 2017.
Moyenne’s present configuration: Chantal Esdelle, Glenford Sobers, Douglas Redon, Gary Haywood who filled his teacher Donald Noel’s seat since his death in 2015, and Von Best (drums).
Albums New Hope and Imbizo Moyenne were recorded in 2000 and 2010 respectively.
Chantal Esdelle is a graduate of Berklee College of Music (B.Mus) and York University, Toronto (MA). After several years of teaching music at tertiary (University of the West Indies) and secondary institutions Ms. Esdelle now enjoys a private tutoring practice at the EJC’s Jazz Studio. She founded the arts company Ethnic Jazz Club (EJC) in 2000 and opened the company’s studio in 2014. Under Ms. Esdelle’s watch the EJC has produced many Caribbean jazz presentations, radio programmes and recordings.
Glenford Sobers has been recognised as a strong presence in steelpan art since the age of 16 when he began receiving awards for his performance of classical and original compositions in the Pan is Beautiful Steelband Music festival at the junior and senior levels. Sobers also won the accolade of being a lead improviser in the Pan Ramajay competition. He performed in Asia and the US for several years and now enjoys arranging for and tutoring young people in New Age Trendsetters, his family steel band.
Douglas Redon is one of the leading musicians in Trinidad and Tobago. Redon is a foundation member of the famed Phase II pan groove. This steelpan player and arranger lends his talent to Moyenne on the bass guitar, an instrument he has used to build the sound of Trinidadian treasure Andre Tanker, serving as Tanker’s bassist from 1985-2003, and to support the performances of the number one pannist and arranger in the country, Mr. Len Boogsie Sharpe. Douglas Redon also spent a decade as resident bassist for Clive Zanda, one of the icons of kaiso jazz.
Gary Haywood was born into a family of drummers and cultural practitioners in Laventille, a community recognised for the highest level of Afro-Trinidadian music, dance and steelpan practice in Trinidad and Tobago. At birth he was gifted with a drum and has received drumming as his calling. He serves as lead drummer in the Northwest Laventille Cultural Movement, is a member of Desperadoes steel orchestra and a perpetual presence in the local drum scape. His most recent international performances were with the Universal Circus.
Von Best is a graduate of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) where he attained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree specialising in percussion. Von began his studies at the Birdsong Academy, a junior music programme offering instruction on several instruments done by the Birdsong steel orchestra. He has been a practising musician for the past ten years and currently serves as drummer for Bp Renegades Steel Orchestra, Suave Steel and Moyenne.