We are pleased to hand the PANCH Award 2008 over to Claudio Pini. We are very happy to present the award to him - he more than deserves it! Claudio Pini was born in Zurich in 1971, where he passed his unspectacular childhood. At the age of 10 he started to play the drums which upset his whole neighborhood. After having moved to Berne he started to play the steelpan in Switzerland's first children-steelband. There and in many following bands he gathered a lot of important experiences for his musical future.
Thanks to his exceptional talent as an arranger/composer and his teaching abilities he was soon working for steelbands all over Switzerland. He has visited Trinidad&Tobago, the homeland of the steelpan, many times performing with local steelorchestras (Casablanca, Renegades, PhaseII ) and bands from Switzerland (Holiday for Pans, Panch 2000).
In 1994 his growing interest for jazz music brought him to the Lucerne Jazz-School, where he improved his musical and technical skills. As one of the first panists in Europe he officially graduated as steelpan player in 2001, even wining an award for exceptional performance.
Since then he played numerous concerts in different bands and projects of all styles and coulours and is always working on new interesting projects, which can be viewed on the bands&projects site.
Pini is the arranger of "Mind Yuh Business" and one of the musical directors of PANCH 2000 who ranked sensationally 6th at the World Steelband Festival in Trinidad. "Inventive, inventive, inventive!", was the enthusiastic comment of the british judge about Pini's fast-paced calypso.
Since then he directs the steelband Ferrum Helveticum, in the meantime possibly one of the best amateur steelbands in europe.
Read mora about Claudio on www.pinimusic.ch