A Conversation with steel pannist Olujimi “Jimmeh” La Pierre – There is nothing in this world that can come remotely close to the magic of what the steel pan evokes.

Olujimi “Jimmeh” La Pierre, Founder and bandleader of Fresh Carnival, is an internationally known steel pannist, revered for his natural talent for music. Taking his brand to the next level, ‘Jimmeh the Boss’ is making a big name for himself, both on and off the island, as a pan prodigy The Cayman Islands 🇰🇾 with a Tobago 🇹🇹 background. He will be performing on Friday, October 11, 2019, at the Miami Carnival Panorama at Central Broward Regional Park from 5 pm-11 pm.

Olujimi “Jimmeh” La Pierre
Olujimi “Jimmeh” La Pierre

Q: How long have you been involved with music?
A: Ever since I can remember, I’ve been involved in music. From birth, I was groomed every day for my musical career. I am so grateful to have today. For the past 28 years, I’ve been playing the steel pan. 

Q: When were you first exposed to steel pan music?
A: My father, a world-renowned pan pioneer who took the art form from the Cayman Islands to Canada, exposed me to the steel pan from birth. Because of him, steel pan has been included in the Canadian school curriculum from primary to university level education. 

Q: What is it about the steel pan that draws you in?
A: The music! There is nothing in this world that can come remotely close to the magic of what the steel pan evokes. With the right approach, technicality, and disciple, the drum speaks to you in so many different ways to communicate the universal language of music. 

Q: Who was or still is your mentor?
A: My father is my greatest inspiration and my mentor. I’ve developed my style patterns and skills learning from my dad’s pan skills. Key icons and pan legends like Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe , Ray Holman, Robert ‘Robbie’ Greenidge, Clive Bradley, the Late Great Ken Professor Philmore, as well our great family friend Duvone Stuart who’s now making his run in this era today have also contributed to my love and career in steel panning. The list goes on and on. 

Q: Ambition or talent: which matters more to success? 
A: Talent needs to work with the ambition to achieve success. Talent is the vehicle. Ambition is the driver. Success is, ultimately, your destination. With ambition driving you to keep going after your dream and practicing your skills and working on your talent every day is key! 

Olujimi “Jimmeh” La Pierre
Olujimi “Jimmeh” La Pierre

Q: If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would he think?
A: My 20-year-old self would be very pleased and impressed with my career progress thus far. If I’ve had the vision, mindset, and ambition that I have today back then, who knows where I would be right now! It’s crazy to think that I’ve made a professional career out of my passion and love for steel pan. 

Q: When you lack creative inspiration, what helps get you back on track again?
A: Prayer and meditation help a lot! It clears my mind and teaches me patience. Thinking about the future and my goals pushes me to keep going. I always give thanks for where I’ve come from and where I’m going. 

 About the Miami Broward One Carnival
The Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee will host the 35th annual Miami Carnival celebration at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, Sunday, October 13, from 11 am-11 pm. Named one of the Top 100 Events of South Florida by bizbash.com, Miami Carnival continues its long-standing tradition of providing a kaleidoscope of Caribbean cultures under one umbrella. The events also consists of a thoughtfully curated celebration of the Caribbean through pageantry, music, food, arts & crafts, and cultural experiences. Miami Carnival Parade of Bands features the colorful display of costumes of over 15,000 masqueraders and revelers parading as they capture the spirit, passion, and the essence of Caribbean culture. The mega concert, scheduled on the same day, will showcase the infectious vibes and energy of some of the top 35 Soca music ambassadors. Sponsors for the 2019 Miami Carnival include: Presenting sponsors – The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and Caribbean Airlines; MoneyGram, Yellow Cab Broward and is produced with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.