Hailed as the “Paganini of the Steelpan,” Liam Teague currently serves as the Head of Steelpan Studies and is an Assistant Professor of Music at Northern Illinois University. Along with Clifford Alexis, he is co-director of the Northern Illinois University Steelband. He has distinguished himself as the recipient of many awards in his homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, including championships for his ability with the steelpan, violin and recorder. In addition to being the Co-winner of the National Steelband Festival Solo Championship of Trinidad and Tobago, Teague won the Saint Louis Symphony Volunteers Association Young Artiste Competition in 1998. Under the baton of Dr. Paul Freeman, Teague with the Chicago Sinfonietta gave the world premiere of Illinois composer Jan Bach’s “Concerto for Steelpan and Orchestra” at Orchestra Hall, Chicago. Many subsequent appearances with the Chicago Sinfonietta followed; among the most note-worthy was his 2001 performance at Kennedy Center. He has also appeared as featured soloist with many other distinguished ensembles including the Czech National Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Panama National Symphony, Dartmouth Wind Ensemble, Buffalo Philharmonic, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison Marching Band.
Teague’s commitment to demonstrating the great musical possibilities of the Steelpan has taken him to Europe, Asia, North and Central America, Australia and the Caribbean. Some of these performances include opening for the MC Hammer tour of Trinidad and Tobago, collaborations with the BP Renegades, appearances at the St. Lucia, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago Jazz Festivals, the Cool Drummings Percussion Festival in Toronto, and MusicFest in Vancouver, Canada.
As a performer and clinician, Liam Teague has given presentations at several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions and at many educational institutions throughout the world. He has collaborated with a number of prominent musicians including: Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Samuels, Zakir Hussain, Evelyn Glennie and Nexus. He holds an Artist-in Residence position at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wisconsin and has also presented recitals and clinics at Interlochen Academy for the Performing Arts.
A strong advocate for original Steelpan Compositions, Teague has commissioned a number of significant composers to write for the instrument including: Michael Colgrass, Jan Bach, Libby Larsen, Deborah Fisher Teason, Joey Sellers and Ben Wahlund. Many of Teague’s own compositions are published through MaumauMusic, PanPress and RamajayMusic.