IN MEMORY OF JOE ISIDORE
It is with much sadness that we dedicate this page to Joe Isidore who passed on Jan 1st, 2006 in his home, Trinidad. Joe had suffered from increasing health problems over the past years and died of heart failure at age 54. He will be missed by his friends and family. Although I only know him for a relatively short period of his life, I had the privelage of working with him on two different occasions between 1986 and 1996. Joe was a fine musician, expert pan player, pan builder and tuner, singer, songwriter, and quite a personality. Any information about other periods of his life would be greatly appreciated.
I first met Joe in 1982 when he traveled to perform in Daytona with his band Ti-Shan. Joe was close friends with our steel drummer Kelvin Hart, and Joe began to make frequent trips from south Florida to Daytona often sitting in or subbing for Kelvin. He became a full-time member of Windjammer in '86 and is the pan player heard on many of our key recordings such as "Goin Down to the Beach", "Turn Around" and "After the Fall." He continued on at the Ocean Deck after I left in 1989, assuming the leadership of the band there for several more years. He continued freelancing and leading small combos around central Florida until recently.
I should also mention that I had the good fortune to collaborate with Joe in the mid-90s in a different capacity when I was doing scholarly research on pan in Florida. He generously gave of his time and knowledge regarding the history and current practices of pan in the Caribbean and Florida. He often supplemented his performing income by making and tuning drums.
Many know that Joe was quite a character and prone to lifestyle problems that sometimes interfered with his career, but I hope that this doesn't diminish the beauty of the work he did. Sadly, the Bacchanal he loved so much took him out. Joe had quite a temper, but I never knew him to be mean or vindictive. And though he sometimes neglected care for himself, he was deeply devoted to taking care of his family. Our prayers go out for him and his family. May he join in the great Mas above.