Dr. Kim Johnson

Dr. Kim JohnsonDr. Kim Johnson is an accomplished journalist, author, and researcher and is recognized as a foremost Steelpan historian in Trinidad & Tobago.

His first foray into Steelpan history was via a recurring series of newspaper articles chronicling the experiences of those who participated in the growth and development of the National Instrument. He later developed on this theme by the construction of a photographic history of the Pan’s development. Dr Johnson has also published extensively on the history and culture of Trinidad & Tobago.

These works include the historical Crusoe’s Isle (1994), and The Fragrance of Gold: Trinidad in the Age of Discovery (1998). He later returned to the Steelpan, with the 2003 Renegades: A History of the Renegades Steel Orchestra, a coffee-table book commissioned by the oil company BP, who are the sponsors of the Renegades. In 2006, he published Descendants of the Dragon (a history of the Chinese in Trinidad) in commemoration of the 200-year presence of the Chinese in the island, and in 2007, he published If you Iron Good you is King: The Pan Pioneers.

Dr. Johnson is a Senior Research Fellow at The Academy for Arts, Letters, Culture and Public Affairs at The University of Trinidad and Tobago. In 2011, he was awarded Anthony N. Sabga Laureate for Arts & Letters. His most recent book, The Illustrated Story of Pan, is an important pictorial and oral history of the steelband movement. The Digital Pan Archive Project that he created has been nominated for the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. His interests in dramatizing the story of the Steelpan have led to his involvement in the 2010 short film ‘The Audacity of the Creole Imagination’.

At the time of the 2013 Mentoring By the Masters programme, Dr. Johnson was making his foray into multimedia projects featuring the Steelpan including, the international award-winning,  Pan: A Music Odyssey.