The Ebony Steelband was founded in 1969 by a group of dedicated pan men and women who shared one principle love ‘the love of steelpan.’ Since the very beginning the main focus for the members of Ebony Steelband has been to promote steelpan music across the UK and Europe. With the growth of Ebony Steelband this aim has been increasingly fulfilled and Ebony is Europe’s leading Steelband (currently European steelband champions). It is the record 19 times winner of the National Panorama competition at Notting Hill Carnival – 9 times in succession – and the current National Steelband Champions.
Ebony is also one of the most ‘travelled’ steelband in Europe and they perform throughout the year with an average of 4 performances per week. The most recent performances abroad include two trips to the Football World Cup in Germany 2006 and the opening of the Cricket World Cup in Delhi, India. Other performances include venues like the Cannes Film Festival in France as well as trips to Malaysia, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Ireland, Switzerland, Caribbean Islands and Morocco – the latter being a performance for the Royal Family in the presence of Princess Lalla Salma.
Ebony has participated in the World Steelband festivals in Trinidad & Tobago and in Miami, USA in 2007. The first World Steelband Festival was in October 2000 and held in Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies. It was a great privilege for Ebony to represent Britain at the first world Steelband Festival. Ebony was the only UK Steelband to qualify for the competition, having successfully won the European Steelpan Festival in May 2000 (in France), at which they successfully competed against 19 other Steelbands from across the whole of Europe and returned home victorious and ‘European Steelpan Champions 2000’. The World Steelband Festival 2000 resulted in Ebony being placed 4th, this was a good result for Ebony as it was their first attempt at competing against international bands. This left room for Ebony to improve at the World Steelband Festival 2002 when they returned home victorious being placed 3rd in the world.
Aside from its musical accomplishments Ebony is an organisation that delivers a variety of activities for young people particularly those from the Afro-Caribbean community. The organisation is based in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea where there is opportunity to work with young people to direct them towards living successful and purposeful lives.
Ebony has a real belief in helping its community so the organisation tries its best to support anyone who is involved with any of the programmes run by Ebony. This involves the band doing many charity events, so that Ebony can be well known in the community for the band’s positive contribution. The Ebony Steelband Trust offers a safe and friendly environment where people (young and old) can socialise, but at the same time be given discipline and support through music and with life skills. Today Ebony Steelband Trust is a charitable company delivering a whole range of different activities.
Ebony Steelband Trust was awarded the Queen’s award in 2005 for its 18 years of serving the community.