The History of The ADLIB Youth and Cultural Organization and The ADLIB Steel Orchestra

The ADLIB Youth and Cultural Organization which operates The ADLIB Steel Orchestra was incorporated in 1996 formalizing the mission of the steel orchestra, which had been founded in 1989. Commonly known as ADLIB, its incorporation set as its primary mission teaching children and young adults about the joy of music and the riches of the Caribbean culture expressed through the art of Steel Pan (often called the Steel Drum).

ADLIB has showcased its talents across the New York area at numerous musical and cultural events. These performances have entertained diverse audiences. In the Village of Freeport, they have included: the annual First Night of Freeport on New Year’s Eve at the Freeport Recreational Center, the Freeport Memorial Day Parade, the Freeport Mayoral Victory Celebration aboard the Nautical Princess, the “Blessing of the Fleet” on Freeport’s Nautical Mile and “Freeport Day.”

The ADLIB Steel Orchestra has also performed at a number of local libraries for the Long Island Arts Council, at the EAB Plaza Holiday Concert Series, at the annual summer concert series on the beaches in Bayville, at the Senior Enrichment Program in Lido Beach, at many Eisenhower Park Cultural Arts Festivals, at the Long Island Children’s Museum and at many other public performances. ADLIB also has performed in Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls in New York City and participates in the annual West Indian American Day festivities on Labor Day weekend in Brooklyn. More recently, ADLIB performed as the featured act at concerts during the 2013 Panorama Caribbean Fest in Virginia Beach, Virginia hosted by the Virginia Arts Festival.

Emphasizing its focus on the youth of the community, the ADLIB Steel Orchestra was able to train one of its young players, who had started in the band at the tender age of eight, to arrange music. In 2007, seventeen year-old Andre White’s arrangement took ADLIB to third place in the Brooklyn Panorama, where it competed against much larger bands. In 2008, again with Andre’s arrangement, the ADLIB Steel Orchestra captured first place in the Brooklyn Panorama, to the delight of its supporters, who had been cheering ADLIB along for many years. That same year ADLIB captured first place in the two categories of the J’ouvert competition. Adlib continued in the winner’s circle with Andre’s arrangements from 2008 through 2012, coming in second place for two years and then taking first place again in 2011 and 2012. Andre has moved on, and in 2014 Adlib again took second place, this time with an Amrit Samaroo arrangement of “Big People Party.”  Adlib has continued in the winner’s circle in the 2015 Brooklyn Panorama competition, capturing third place with Amrit’s arrangement of Machel Montano’s hit “Like ah Boss.”

The ADLIB Youth and Cultural Organization/ADLIB Steel Orchestra is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation whose purpose is to provide a venue for the youth to come together for entertainment and education. The organization relies on the contributions of sponsors and benefactors, as well as paid engagements, as its main source of financial support. The day-to-day operation of ADLIB is in the capable hands of Franklin and Jean Mayers. Franklin serves as the Director and Captain and Jean is the Assistant Director.

The Concert Band, a group of select ADLIB musicians who play regularly for smaller engagements and private parties is readily available for any musical occasion or special event. ADLIB, as a part of its mission to serve the youth, also runs classes to teach the art of playing the pan and the basics of music theory. Anyone interested in hiring the band for an event, learning to play pan, becoming a member, or more information regarding the organization can contact ADLIB at: (516)623-4061 or (516)672-1135. Ask for Jean Mayers.

The ADLIB Steel Orchestra rehearses year-round at its “panyard” located at 855 Nassau Road, Uniondale, New York. Rehearsals are typically on Friday and Saturday evenings, Sunday afternoons and early Monday evenings. During the months of July and August, ADLIB rehearses for the Labor Day Weekend Brooklyn Panorama Competition, usually seven evenings a week. Visitors are welcome.