The Band

The Band

WE'RE A FRIENDLY AND TALENTED TEAM. HERE'S WHERE THE DYNAMICS MEETS THE MECHANICS! EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TASSO MEMBERS YOU WILL FIND RIGHT HERE.

Rhianne

Hello, I am Rhianne and I have been a part of TASSO for 6 years now. It’s my last year with the band and I’ve loved being in this ensemble. I’ve travelled with TASSO to Scotland and Australia, and can’t wait to go out with a bang on our trip to Spain. I enjoy travelling and bringing my many passions to others around the world. From international environmental science competitions to world music festivals, I’ve been many places and can’t wait for the adventures ahead of me as I move on into university.

Vladimir

I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and I have been playing steel pan since the age of four. I have been a part of T.A.S.S.O since 2011, and in 2017 I worked with the band’s leader Salmon Cupid as his teaching assistant at Rosedale Public School. I successfully finished my first year at York University for Music and Teaching, and my experiences working with Salmon in a school setting is what influenced me to go into teaching at university. In my time in the band, we have traveled to Austria, Germany, Scotland, Czech Republic and Australia, and I am really looking forward to our next big trip to Spain this July.

Alexus

My name is Alexus and I am a third year member of the Toronto All Stars Steelpan Orchestra (TASSO). I have a passion for the arts and studied dramatic arts at the Young People’s Theatre(YPT) and Art Starts in Toronto. I also enjoy playing the drums, clarinet and socializing with friends. My future aspiration is to be a Judge in the Court of Law!

Ben

Hi, my name is Ben, and I have been playing steel pan with TASSO for 4 years. I am 13 years old, and I am in grade 8. I play 3 other instruments besides steal pan which are French horn, trumpet, and piano. I also like to play sports like hockey and baseball. My future dream job is to be an astrophysicist because space amazes me.

Ben

My name is Ben. I am 19 years old and I am currently attending the YMCA Academy.  I hope to become a chef one day.  Some of my interests include food, cooking and restaurants. I love trying all kinds of international foods. My favourite food is sushi.  I really enjoy spending time with my family and friends.    I’m a fan of the Blue Jays and Raptors.   I enjoy volunteering and helping others that are less fortunate.  I am  extremely passionate about music and playing the steel pan. I started playing about 6 years ago at school as well as with lessons through Afropan.  I feel privileged to be a part of TASSO for the last 3 years.  It was so much fun performing with TASSO in Toronto’s 112th Annual Santa Claus Parade.  A major highlight for me in TASSO was performing at The Sydney Opera House for The Australian International Music Festival in 2017.  I am so excited the perform  with TASSO in the 2019 Spain Performance Tour.  I can’t wait to try some real Spanish Tapas!

Jordan

My name is Jordan and I am a proud member of the Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra. I began my journey into the world of music at 4 years old when my parents signed me up for piano lessons. From then I have played different instruments, but the most memorable one by far is the steelpan. Through playing the steelpan I have learned more about music and have been given the amazing opportunity to travel around the globe playing the only instrument invented in the 20th century. Being in this group and playing the steelpan has opened my eyes to the world and given me a true sense of what it means to be a musician. The other instruments I play include the piano, saxophone, and guitar. Aside from music I also enjoy playing sports and my favorite one is soccer. Some of my other pastimes are listening to music and reading. I am currently pursuing my NLS certification in the hope of becoming a lifeguard and/or a swim instructor with the ultimate goal of getting a part-time job.

Jason

My name is Jason and I have been in the Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra for the last 3 ½ years. I was the youngest member for 2 of those years. I remember barely being able to get my arms above the basses comfortably. Now I’m no longer the youngest, I’m going on my second trip with the group, and people can see me properly above the pans….I think. I live by a quote by Maya Angelou, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated”. This quote motivates me in all aspects of my life whether I am playing soccer, football, or basketball. Soccer consumes most of my free time but I also like to play board games and do track and field. I enjoy spending time with my family and we could be doing anything really and I would still have fun. People (excluding teachers) describe me as funny, competitive, athletic, fast, and smart. Don’t even wonder about that “excluding teachers” part, there just not enough space to go into it.

Justin

My name is Justin and I have been a part of the Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra (TASSO) since September 2013 and enjoy it very much. I hope to remain a part of TASSO even after I’m finished high school. The greatest satisfaction for me is probably that I get to show my parents through my playing because my mom is from Trinidad (the official birthplace of the steelpan) and my dad is from Jamaica. Playing the steelpan allows me to show off my Caribbean roots. Outside of steel pan I enjoy playing soccer, basketball, and football. I recently received the certification to become a soccer referee; now all I need is some actual games to ref. I like ketchup but not tomatoes, and grapes but not raisins, and every morning I have to eat or drink something orange…..just because. A few words I would use to describe myself are athletic, a risk-taker, honest, and entertaining. My favourite foods are pizza, burgers, fries and chicken. Did I say fries already? Well, I suppose a second time doesn’t hurt…and fries.

Julian

Hey, my name Julian, I’m 18 years old and this is my 3rd year as a member of the Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra (TASSO). The 2019 Spain tour will be my second trip with the band following our 2016 award winning tour in Sydney, Australia. For the last 3 years, Steelpan has always been a constant in my life, through both good and bad periods. Steelpan has always been something I have looked forward to and appreciate every week. During my first trip to Australia, the surprise and excitement of this instrument among the faces of the crowds have resonated with me. The opportunity to internationally introduce and demonstrate the capability of this unique instrument is extraordinary. During our 2019 tour of Spain, I am thrilled to see what our band can accomplish. It is sad to think about this as my last year with TASSO but the life lessons and experiences it has provided me are invaluable. Come June of 2019 I will graduate from RH king Academy perusing medical sciences with ambitions of one becoming a healthcare professional. Outside of TASSO I have played competitive soccer for the majority of my life and certified as a lifeguard with hopes of a part-time job this summer following our trip. I am thankful for Salmon Cupid, our band, and my family for this rare opportunity that has changed me for the better.

Irene

Claire

I am 15 years old, and I joined TASSO four and a half years ago. I started playing the steel pan when I was 3 as part of our school music program. Before I left the school, I got the opportunity to join TASSO. I like traveling with the band and getting to play in festivals across the world. Aside from the steel pan, I enjoy playing soccer and curling. I have been on my current soccer team for almost seven years.

Maeve

Isadora

Hi, I’m Isadora and I am 14 years old. I have been playing steelpan since the age of four and I have been in TASSO for the past five years. Being in the band has helped me enhance my musical skills as I play many other instruments like the piano, ukulele, guitar and clarinet. I have a huge passion for dance and do many styles such as ballet, jazz, tap and modern and I love performing my dances. I live for the stage energy! I love baking all sorts of things including cookies and decorative cupcakes but my favourite things to bake are novelty cakes, and I like eating them too. I adore anything to do with horses and horseback riding as they are my favourite animals and riding is my favourite sport. This will be my third time travelling with the band and I can’t wait for Australia!

Sophia

Hi, my name is Sophia. I’m a comedian and if you mess with me … I’ll roast you … Just kidding! I am 11 years old and I started playing steelpan when I was three. My favourite pan is the Six Base because it carries the root notes and it is very easy to dance to, or in my case, bob up and down to. My dad is Salmon Cupid and he and my mom are both from Trinidad where the steelpan originated. If you see us out as a family it’s not deja vu, I have an identical twin. I love traveling. My favorite sports are volleyball, track and cricket. I also LOVE to eat! I’m currently on a sea food diet. Any food I “see” I eat. Some of my hobbies are making collages, reading, writing (poems and short stories in particular) and trying to discover new favourite foods. I’ve been in math clubs, art clubs on my school’s sport teams, but my favorite activity by far is participation in Battle of the Books. I have a few book series that I am collecting. My favourite one is Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. Some words that best describe me are funny, artistic, individual and curious.

Salmon

My name is Salmon Cupid. I have the privilege of being the Musical Director of the Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra. From an early age I learned and I live by one word. PASSION!

Sebastian

Hi, I’m Sebastian and I am 15 years old. I have been a member of TASSO for 4 years and have been playing steel pan with Salmon since I was 4 years old. I have fun playing steel pan and I play all of the pans.
I am also passionate about sports, especially soccer and basketball. I have played competitive soccer for the Mooredale Soccer Club for 8 years and for the last 3 years in a row my team won the winter soccer league at the Hanger. Every week after school I play basketball with some of my friends. I am also a big fan of the Toronto Raptors and enjoy watching them win.
In my free time, I like to play video games, watch movies, and hang out with my friends. I am currently in grade 10 and I have no idea what I want to do in my future.
I am very excited to explore Spain and grateful that TASSO has given me such a wonderful opportunity.

Christa

Hello, I’m Christa! I am 11 years old and, unlike my twin sister, I am not funny at all. Usually, I have to inform people once I’ve told a joke.

I love to read novels, especially genres like fantasy and mystery. I am currently collecting two book series. One is The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer and the other is Neil Flambe by Kevin Sylvester (my profile picture here is of Kevin Sylvester and me). Whenever I’m not in the mood to read (which is not often) I enjoy watching the news and drinking tea. Some sporting activities I enjoy the most are soccer, volleyball, lacrosse and sprinting.

When I get older I would like to be an entrepreneur and work in the culinary arts and financing. This is because cooking has always fascinated me and income tax and banking interest me.

I have been playing the steelpan since I was 3 years old. When I was 6 years old I played O Canada for the launch of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival at Nathan Phillips Square. I have been a part of TASSO for a long time. I believe that it’s a great place to learn a unique instrument and have fun at the same time.

Morgan

My name is Morgan and I am 13 years old. I have been playing steelpan from Kindergarten. I enjoy going on the internet and playing around with the computerize steelpan in my free time. I am always busy playing different sports such as squash, badminton, ping pong, tennis, tae kwon do and the track and field sport shot put.  My favorite sport is volleyball. My mom had me try curling and that the sport I don’t like the most. I like to play games also on the computer. I am a quiet person most of the time but sometimes I enjoy speaking.

Adam

My name is Adam, and for some strange reason I have an aversion to, apples, snakes, and girls named Eve. I’m in Grade 8 and I’ve liked to play soccer since I was six years old. I really enjoy the outdoors and I love going camping. I even camped outside in the frigid winter with my Scouts troupe one weekend. I also like to run, and participate in school track and field every year, and I plan to join a track team outside of school. I specifically like to run the 1500 meter, and 100 meter races. This year I was on  my school’s 4×100 relay team, and we placed 3rd in Toronto. In grades 5, 6, and 7, I placed 6th in toronto for the 1500 meter. I plan to continue track into high school and make it into the Ontario Finals.

Moriah

Hello, my name is Moriah and I am a proud member of the Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra. I am 15 years old and have been playing Pam with TASSO for as long as I can remember. One thing you should know about me is that I set very high standards for myself with everything that I work towards. That standard is at its max when I play steelpan. My dad -Salmon Cupid- is the musical director of this remarkably talented group of young musicians and you can only imagine where his standards are for my sisters and me in this band. Before I forget to mention it, my ethnic background is Trinidadian so steelpan is in my blood. During practices and performances, I regularly play the Tenor steelpan. It is the pan that typically carry’s the the melody of the songs the Orchestra plays.

My all-time passions are traveling and exploring the world, writing, personal fitness, and music. These are only a few things that represent me but I guess it’s a good start.

What I have noticed throughout the years about TASSO, is that each and every member is touched in some way by this musical and group experience. As our members grow older and retire from the band, they always find a way to come back, visit, and play with us again. TASSO members aren’t only members, we are family, and that is what makes this group welcoming and special.
Aleyah

My name is Aleyah, I am 16 and I have been playing the steel drums for almost 13 years now. My early exposure to aspects from various cultures, like food, music, and art, has invoked a passion for different sounds, flavours, linguistics and more from all around the world. Salmon and TASSO have created a truly unique and amazing outlet for people like me to express themselves and learn outside of usual classroom curriculum, and being able to take this community of creativity and passion outside of a classroom and across the world is such an astounding opportunity. Summer of 2019 our band is going to Spain, and for my first trip with the band, and to Europe, I couldn’t be more excited.

Maximo

Hi, my name is Maximo, I am 15 years old, my nickname is Mystic and I go to Riverdale CI. I have been a part of TASSO since September of 2017. I love playing with the group and I have made a lot of good friends. I love playing musical instruments such as Steel Pan (of course) as well as the Bass Clarinet and Piano. I have been playing Steel Pan since grade 5 and I have enjoyed playing it all these years. I’m a very athletic person and I get hyped and competitive very easily when I’m playing sports such as Baseball, Soccer and Curling. I also speak Spanish and love to dance. Spain Is going to be my first trip abroad with TASSO and I’m really excited

Simon

Hi, My name is Simon. I joined TASSO in grade 7 when I was 12 years old, having played Steelpan at Rosedale Public School from Grade 2 to 6 with Salmon Cupid as our steel pan teacher. I loved music because of the instrument I played. I’ve often played Six Bass, but like to play other pans. I also found out that steel pan was played at my middle school (for a time, I genuinely had thought that steel pan was only played in Toronto at schools where Salmon taught!). Now I’m in Grade 8 I also play the tenor saxophone and do lots of athletics like short track speed skating, soccer, football, volleyball and rowing, while trying to be a good all-round
student. I’m looking forward to the trip to Spain and what possibilities
the world offers after.

Max

My name is Max and I am 11 years old. I am about to graduate from Rosedale Public School, where I started playing steel pan when I was in junior kindergarten. I just started TASSO last fall and so far I can tell it is a lot of fun. I also like to play sports like hockey, baseball, and football. I am looking forward to starting to perform with TASSO.

Daniel

Hi! I’m Daniel and I was born and have lived my whole life in Toronto, an amazing city! I am 13 years old and in my 2nd year with TASSO. I’ve been playing steel pan with Salmon since Kindergarten and I am happy to be a member of this band.
Most people think of me as a funny, athletic and smart kid. In my spare time, I love to read and play video games. My favourite sports are soccer, basketball, football, and track.
I am very excited to travel to Spain this summer as it will be a hugely fun trip!

Ché

My name is Che; pronounced (Ch-ay). I am 12 years old and I am new to TASSO. I excel at Math, French and Sports such as Basketball. I have been involved in Tae-Kwon-Do for 9 years and I have earned a 2nd degree black belt. During the summer I participate in a basketball league which has tournaments at home and in the USA, and I also enjoy travelling and spending quality time with my family. My hobbies are drawing, watching anime and playing basketball. I started steel pan when I was 6 but stopped to focus on sports and now that I have time again I chose to play steel pan once again. In the future I aspire to be a digital artist with a focus on architecture. My dad is Jamaican and my mom is Trinidadian; I enjoy the food, music and culture from both islands. I hope to keep learning pan from Mr. Cupid!

Spencer

Hey I’m Spencer and here are some things you might want to know about me. One big thing in my life is my love for playing the steelpan in the TASSO orchestra. The experience I get from having the opportunity to play such a unique instrument with such talented band members and band leader is priceless. Outside of pan I enjoy playing sports such as soccer, football, basketball and swimming. I also work as a lifeguard and a swim instructor and being able to teach a child the skill of being able to swim Is very rewarding. I enjoy socializing with people and i am always down for a good time and laugh.

Eleni

My name is Eleni, I’m 18 years old and I’ve been in this band for the past 7 years. I love tomatoes but hate ketchup, I take my sugar with coffee, and I can’t have cereal with milk without a glass of water. Ever. On a more serious note, my hobbies include playing competitive volleyball at a national and provincial level as my team has ranked 10th in Canada and 3rd in Ontario. I also very much enjoy taking on leadership roles both in and outside of the school. Whether it be on student council or helping with charities, I’m always the first to volunteer to help organize. I’m an extremely adventurous but calm and collected girl which is why opportunities like those spark my interest! Being 18 comes with many once in a life time experiences. My life so far has consisted of LOTS travelling with not only the band all over the world, but more specifically to Greece as that’s where I’m from! As I grow older I plan to continue travelling the world and exploring new places because being on a plane honestly just comes naturally to me. For example, I LIVE for the turbulence – it’s like a mini roller coaster to me… From the experiences and opportunities I’ve been given over the years, I have developed many skills and have grown as individual. My personality has developed into a mature but silly, enthusiastic, driven girl, but by being 18, I think it’s safe to say that there are many more to come and I plan on cherishing each and every one of them!!

Marcus

My name is Marcus and I am a graduate of Lyndon Institute High School in Vermont, USA. I am from Savannah which is a small city in Georgia but have spent my years growing up in Washington D.C., Ottawa, but mostly Toronto. I started playing steel pan with TASSO in elementary school and all the way through high school. I have devoted my time to football since the age of 7 and it’s pretty much been the other half of my life. I have won gatorade player of the game, NEK player of the game, and set the record for my high school in most rushing touch downs in a half. I will be attending Mississippi Valley State University to continue my football career and academic career where I will be studying PRE business, sports management, and physical education. In my spare time when I am not training or doing school work I love to hang out with my friends, drive around, play Xbox, and hang out in the city because as of late I have been away and haven’t had many chances to do that. This summer I plan on working for the Canadian Football League (CFL) with their head office in Toronto later on this summer. I love eating steak, pizza, and maynard gummies.

Zindzi

My name is Zindzi, I have been in Salmon’s TASSO for many years now and it has honestly been the best time of my life. Besides spending my Fridays jamming out to Steel Pan I have also been a competitive dancer, played rugby, and been captain on my schools soccer team. When not participating in those activities I write short stories and poetry which I have preformed at various events. I’ve also been a devout vegan since I was 7. Being Trinidadian I’ve always had a love and appreciation for Caribbean music. Playing with TASSO has given me the opportunity to play amazing music and travel the world with my closest friends and family. TASSO has helped me with becoming the confident leader I am today. I was very excited to have the opportunity to compete in the Sydney Opera House when the band travelled to Australia.

Emily

My name is Emily. I have been part of TASSO for many years and have traveled to Germany, Scotland and Australia on tour with the band. I have always had a great time traveling and playing all around the world. Some of my hobbies include swimming, being a lifeguard, going on walks, hanging out with friends, and watching Netflix. I also love helping out and getting involved in the community. I do tons of volunteering and always love giving a helping hand. I have had many amazing experiences in my life and I can’t wait to add playing with the band in Spain to them.

Nigisti

Nigisti My name is Nigisti, I have been in Salmon Cupid’s amazing steel pan orchestra, Toronto All Stars, since I was in grade seven. I graduated from post secondary school with a welding and cosmetology certificate. I am a makeup artist, and an artistic director. I love the concept of enhancing and highlighting ones beauty through paint and makeup. In my free time I enjoy dancing, painting and writing poetry. As someone who grew up in a Rastafarian home, Ive been raised to eat vegan my entire life. Since I don’t eat animals, many of my peers assume that I don’t know what “good food” is. When I say both my parents are vegan chefs, and I cook one of my “gisti specials”, I always show them another side of food, the vegan side with a Caribbean twist! Alongside Caribbean food I also love Caribbean music. Every Friday I get to be apart of creating music that cateres to everyone. We mesh songs together that are old classics and fresh hits! Attending practices  gets me excited to see what Salmon Cupid  and my band members create together. As a graduating member of the Toronto All Stars, I wish all the best to my pan family. I know they will continue to shine and amaze people with their talents. I will always have a passionate love for the Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra, it’s been in my life for many years. Once a part of the  TASSO family, always a part of the TASSO family.

Joshua

Emma

My name is Emma. When I’m not doing steel pan you can find me horseback riding or playing guitar. My horseback riding career started at the age of nine when I began riding with my heart set on showing. Now I ride for fun and I’m enjoying that a lot more than training to show. I’ve been playing guitar for many years and I absolutely love it, ever since I was a child I’ve listened to old rock like Pink Floyd, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Guns N’ Roses to name a few. At school you could always find me in the band room. I major in advanced band were I play the flute. Advanced band is a big responsibility that takes up almost all of my time, advanced band means I play a year up. I want to get into U of T for criminal psychology or neurosciences. I’m very interested in how the brain works and I would one day like to work with convicted killers to see how their brains work. I am a very down to earth person and outgoing once I get to know the people around me. I love performing at high levels as I can focus when it comes crunch time. TASSO is great and I’m very happy with my decision to join the band. I’m very thankful to Mr. Cupid for giving me the opportunity to learn and play with the band.

Jeremy

Hello my name is Jeremy, I am a Jamaican-Canadian hip hop dancer and photographer from Toronto, Ontario. I love the summer, going on adventures and drinking water. I have been playing steel pan for many years and I love it. I even made one a few years ago. Playing steelpan is a great way for me to connect with my Caribbean heritage. I am a mixed media artist, currently working with photography, plants and cement. Some of my artwork has been featured on Afropunk and Further Magazine. I continue to learn and express myself and my African heritage through different mediums. My intentions are to make art for black kids, black kids who feel like they cannot be excellent and express their creativity. A lot of black youth feel afraid to step into their creative side without judgment or if they do so they are not considered black. With my passion for design I want to be an interior designer when I’m older as well as a DJ and photographer.

Josh