Alfred Totesaut | Renowned steelpan player who performed at Carnegie Hall, dies aged 87

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Steelpan master Alfred Totesaut, known for his performances at Notting Hill Carnival and performing at Carnegie Hall, has died aged 87

Steelpan master Alfred Totesaut, known for his appearances at the annual Notting Hill Carnival and performing for Princess Margaret, has died at the age of 87. His funeral will take place on Friday (April 11) in Kensal Green with the steel band performing in his honour.

Totesaut died on March 24 2024, with Patrick McKay, co-ordinator of both the band and the St Michael Youth Project, which Freddie was part of, revealing in a statement: "This is a great loss to me and to the many that knew him.”

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"Teacher Freddie was a local man of immense talent and ability, who through his passion for music, love of steel pan and carnival culture, has positively impacted on me, our community and the lives and aspirations of thousands of children and young people in Brent for more than 50 years."

From his early days in Trinidad with the Mexitones to international tours with the Dixieland Steel Orchestra, Totesaut’s talent shone brightly. Achievements like winning the Island-wide Steel Band Music Festival and performing for royalty set the stage for his expansive career. Collaborating with legends in Les Flambeaux and contributing to film soundtracks, his influence spread widely. 

Freddie's performance at Carnegie Hall was a hallmark of his career, representing the pinnacle of steelpan music's reach on the global stage. This event coincided with Princess Margaret's honeymoon in Trinidad in 1960, highlighting the cultural significance of steelpan music and its ability to transcend borders and bring together diverse audiences. Freddie's involvement in such a distinguished event underscores his remarkable talent and the esteemed regard in which he was held within the musical community.

Freddie's role as a tuner and arranger, notably with Metronomes Steel Orchestra, led to multiple Panorama victories. His dedication to mentoring young musicians at St Michael & All Angels Steel Band highlighted his passion for music education, earning him numerous awards.

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