On a humid afternoon in July, Ray Holman plopped down into an armchair in the lobby of the Hotel Morgan, located in downtown Morgantown, West Virginia. The interview location was improvised as a quick solution by Ray after we walked a few blocks in the hot summer sun. Holman and 87 other players and clinicians had just completed the final concert of the Mannette Festival of Steel.
Despite the heat, Holman didn't seem the worse for wear. His face was stern and serious, eyes burning with the intensity of a hawk searching for prey. Despite his greyed hair, and being 71 years old, his youthful exuberance would rival that of a teenager. Based on his demeanor, Holman comes off as a man who believes in unfiltered honesty while promoting kindness, love and the undying power of music.
Holman has achieved legend status both in Trinidad and globally as an expert composer and player of the steelpan. His accolades include being the first arranger to compose an original piece for Panorama and being a three-time Panorama winner.