Panist and performer Jathniel “Jackspania” Thomas passes

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New-York, United States – Jathniel Thomas (Jackspania), a multi-talented musician, was born on the island of Trinidad in the village of Arouca. He started playing guitar at the age of ten and eventually learned other instruments including bass, keyboard, drums, percussion, and steel pan. Thomas aka “Jato” has been the frontman of several groups over the years, including the Fabulous Deltones and the Hi-Lights in Trinidad as well as several groups in the United States. He has also supported many well-known artists including Mighty Sparrow, Mighty Duke and Lord Nelson.

Jathniel “Jackspania” Thomas

He lived in Brooklyn, NY, United States for several years, where his contribution to steel pan music was widely recognized by institutions such as the Jackie Robinson Center, the Police Athletic League, and Wingate High School; Thomas has played a very important role in teaching and developing steel groups and in spreading the culture of Trinidad and Tobago through these organizations.

Thomas had also been president of Moonstone productions and of Japat Music School & Recording Studio, where he had partnered with Cheryl Vincent, singer, registered nurse and who was also his background singer.

A singer, songwriter, lyricist, arranger, producer, engineer and music teacher himself, Thomas’ (Jackspania) quest was to create music that was internationally appealing in both lyrical content and musicality.

In recent years he has released several songs for the next Panorama seasons. We Come Out To Play, Pan Man and Dancing To The Pan all came out of his pen in 2014. In 2015, Thomas had three tracks in the musical mix: Pan Is Meh High, Pan Warriors and The Pan Tones Ring. And for the Panorama 2016 season, he returns with PanDora.

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Jathniel “Jackspania” Thomas passed away on November 15, 2016.


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