Ellie’s story will match the sagas/myths/legends from any of the great traditions across humanity. Whatever continent you choose, whatever great story you reference, the real life saga of Dr. Elliot “Ellie” Mannette will elevate him to that special breed of human being whose achievements despite the obstacles is breathtaking. His passion, his skill and his genius, will blaze across the annals of history.
From his unremarkable early years in the 1930’s when he looked on in fascination at the percussion bands of Port of Spain to his growing skill for working with metal to his later experimentation and creation of some of the finest steelpan instruments in existence. Ellie is a master blaster.
He blazed through obstacle after obstacle, he stared adversity in the face and moved on. Moved by that spirit, some people might say ‘a pan jumbie’ he pounded on, developing his feel and understanding of steel to make it sing and dance the music he heard in his head.
He recalls he not having the oil drum to tune a pan. He recalls crisscrossing across the US almost like an evangelist introducing, making pans and music for hundreds of schools and institutions.
Along the way many testify to Ellie’s dedication to his dream to create the finest instrument he could. They recall his determination, his generosity of spirit, his willingness to learn and share his insights.
Ellie is a true sagaboy.
Ellie has received countless awards, acknowledgments and recognition from a wide range of organizations. Among them Universities and other Educational institutions, Scientific research organizations, a Music Hall of Fame, Cultural bodies, Artistic groups, Acoustic study councils and more. He has appeared in several publications that praised his talent for transforming the metal into music.
Through all the variety of awards and acknowledgments he received, the common thread was that he is/was an exceptional creator and innovator. His contributions to the evolution of the steelpan were extraordinary. Here is a small sampling of Ellie’s numerous awards.