"I was introduced to Ellie Mannette through arranger and composer James Leyden around 1979. I had been playing pan for about 5 years at that point. As soon as I heard Ellie’s pans I knew that I wanted to play them. I soon after purchased a set of Double Tenors and loved them. I was now able to play all kinds of music including classical and jazz because the tone was so clear and beautiful. Around 1985 Ellie built a gorgeous set of Double Tenors that I still play today. Mannette pans changed the way I looked at steel pan music and opened up a whole new world of musical expression to me. I have had the good fortune
of knowing Ellie Mannette for all these years and watching him work is what has kept me inspired to continue working at mastering these remarkable
instruments. Ellie and the crew at Mannette Musical Instruments are doing an amazing job of continuing the legacy of innovation and artistry that Ellie started many years ago. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude and respect."
-Christopher Kern, Musician/Composer
"Ellie Mannette's Steel Orchestra sound is majestic. The unparalleled warmth, clarity & richness of tonal quality is a testament to his lifelong dedication and innovation in the art form. I take great pride in playing Ellie's instruments live and in the recording studio . They offer a tremendous range for expression - power and nuance. The "father" of the steel band art form & his crew continue to inspire us with their "state of the art PANS."
- Jeff Narell, Composer/Educator Website: www.jeffnarell.com
"Ellie Mannette has dedicated an entire lifetime’s work to the development and perfection of the steel pan. From the time he was a teenager in the 1940’s right up to the present, his talent and dedication have put him at the forefront of steel pan building and tuning. He created the designs for many of the pans in use today, and is a master at every aspect of building and tuning the full range of instruments that make up the steel orchestra. He’s been working non-stop for 70 years and is still searching for ways to get better. Those are just the facts. My personal opinions go much farther. For me, the beautiful tone, accuracy of tuning, warmth, and balance of Ellie’s instruments are so much in a class by themselves that his work is the standard by which anyone tuning pans will have to be compared. Fortunately he has shared his knowledge and skill, training and mentoring a generation of younger pan tuners who are working all over the world as well as at the home base of Mannette Musical Instruments in Morgantown, West Virginia. It gives me confidence that the legacy of Ellie’s sound, his dream of perfection that has been a driving force for the entire steel band movement, will live on."
- Andy Narell, Jazz Musician/Composer Website: www.andynarell.net
"I started playing Mannette pans in the early 90's and was immediately hooked! The set in the photos are my first set of double seconds and I have had the fantastic crew at Mannette tune them (and reently recondition them) over the years. They started of as painted seconds then at their recommendation I had them reconditioned and chromed in 2015. In one month they have been on 3 recording sessions, 4 live gigs and now are playing in their ancestral home of Trinidad for Panorama! (In fact, Mannette's seconds, known for their warmth and tone in the lower register, but their upper range is so clear that I was asked to play the tenor part on them for Sforzata Steel Orchestra). At this point there are a LOT of pan makers out there but there will only be one Mannette."
- Tom Berich, Musician
"Since becoming a steel band director in 1999, I have been a fan of Ellie Mannette and Mannette Musical Instruments. Mannette’s name kept coming up when I started networking with other steel band directors. When I got to meet Ellie, I was aware that he is one of the true pioneers of the steel drum instrument. It was akin to knowing stradivarius personally! Ellie has spent his entire life creating, building and tuning these amazing instruments during great adversity. Not only has he worked tirelessly to constantly improve these instruments, he has trained untold numbers of apprentices- many who have gone on to start their own companies. Ellie is known and respected throughout the world as the father of the modern steel drum. I have ordered instruments, cases, mallets and other items from MMI over the years which are wonderful and still being used today in my classes. I also have put in my order for a new set of Double Seconds! When I hear beautiful steel band music, I have Ellie to thank. I completely recommend Mannette Musical Instruments and their wonderful staff for your steel drum needs. "
- Patty Dee, Music Educator
"My new double second professional series pans are amazing. They look beautiful, sound beautiful and were well worth the wait. I play in three steel drum bands or orchestras comprised of approximately 25 people each. When other band members come up to me and say, the pans sound awesome, I know that I have a great set of instruments. I very likely have the best sounding pans of any of our band members. I have only been playing for two and a half years. Now if I can only improve my skills to be more deserving of these fine instruments. The difference between what I was playing before and my new Mannette's is like night and day - absolutely huge. Thanks again to Ellie, Rob and Keith for a great job in building and tuning my new pans."
- Clay Johnston, Musician