In August of 1989, a group of Caribbean-Americans came together with a vision to promote the musical and cultural education, as well as the overall well being of the youths in the community.
Jackson and Harry Headley, Neville Gaskin, Fitz Worrell, and Tony Alverez pooled their resources and their knowledge to form the ADLIB Steel Orchestra. Using handcrafted instruments, a few players and a dedicated musical arranger, the Band began to take its first steps toward what would become a full-fledged cultural and educational organization.
In the early days, the members, not unlike a band of gypsies, depended upon the generosity of members and friends to provide practice space and rehearsal time. As time passed, more and more members climbed aboard and with hard work and individual dedication, the Band reached performance level. In 1991, under the direction of their past Musical Director, Lloyd C. Modeste, ADLIB entered and won their first major competition in Baltimore, Maryland – outplaying bands with considerably more experience and membership. The Band continued to make their mark in the field of Steel Band competitions by coming in 2nd in 1992, 3rd in 1993 and again 2nd in 1994.
As an indication of their continued commitment to excellence and hard work, ADLIB returned to Maryland in July of 1995 and became the 1995 Baltimore Steel Band Panorama Champions – once again showing they could overcome obstacles of size and age.
With competition-level performances under their belt, ADLIB
began to branch out, teaching more children and young adults about the joy of music and the riches of the Caribbean culture through the art of Steel Pan playing.
They began showcasing their talents all over the New York area for numerous musical and cultural events.
The list of performances encompasses a wide range of diversity.
In the village of Freeport alone the list includes: the annual First Night of Freeport on New Years’ Eve at the Freeport Recreational Center, the Freeport Memorial Day Parade, the Freeport Mayoral Victory Celebration aboard the Nautical Princess, the “Blessing of the Fleet” on Freeport’s Nautical Mile and “Freeport Day”.
In addition, the ADLIB Steel Orchestra
has also appeared with public performances at a number of local libraries for the Long Island Arts Council, at the EAB Plaza Holiday Concert Series, at the annual summer concert series on the beaches in Bayville, the Senior Enrichment Program in Lido Beach, the Eisenhower Park Cultural Arts Festival, and at the Long Island Children’s Museum. The Orchestra has also performed in Lincoln Center’s renown Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls and in the annual West Indian American Day festivities on Labor Day weekend in Brooklyn.
Continuing with its focus on the youth, ADLIB Steel Orchestra
was able to train one of its young players, who started in the Band at the tender age of eight years, to arrange music.
In 2007, 17 year-old Andre White led ADLIB
to Third Place in the Brooklyn Panorama, competing with much larger bands.
In 2008, again under Andre’s direction, ADLIB
finally captured First Place in the Brooklyn Panorama, to the delight of the public, which has been cheering us along for many years. ADLIB also captured First Place in 2008 in the two categories of the Jourvert competition. In 2009 ADLIB and Andre continued to excel, coming in Second in the Panorama competition and First and Second in the two Jourvert competitions. In 2010, ADLIB again came in second in the Panorama competition and First in the Jourvert Calypso competition.
ADLIB Steel Orchestra is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, the ADLIB Youth and Cultural Organization, whose purpose is to provide a venue for the youths of the community to come together for entertainment and education. The organization relies on the contributions of sponsors and benefactors as its main source of financial support. The Concert Band, a group of select ADLIB
members who play regularly for smaller engagements and private parties, is readily available for any musical occasion or special event.
Anyone interested in either becoming a member, hiring the Band for an event or for more information regarding what the band has to offer can contact any of the following phone numbers:
(516) 623-4061, (516) 672-1135, or (516) 292-2016.
Ask for Jean Mayers.