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Flash Tropical

Born in San Nicholas, on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, Rosendo “Flash” Pantophlet grew up living behind the then named Lago Sport Park, where he attended the Marijke School, which is now an Old People’s Home.

From an early age (7 Years) he played piano with his group “The Charming Boys” consisting of himself, his brother Benny and two cousins; Hubert & Errol Pantophlet. They charged 25 cents, in Antillean currency, to see them perform at their aunt’s house.

In his teens, he started to play steel band with the “Long-Gun Steel-band” and afterwards he joined the “Invaders Steel-band” where he played in many of the Steel-band contests on Aruba. The band won first place.
While attending the John F Kennedy School, on Aruba, he gave steel-band lessons and also took part in some of the contests. At the age of eighteen, he started his own band; “The Simple Souls”. They accompanied Julio Euson (the winner of the 1970 European Song Festival) in the Cultural Center in Aruba and in Curacao. They also traveled to St. Maarten. The Simple Souls played alongside the popular bands of that time like The Sensations, Musical Time, Joy Cock Band, Triple S and The Famous Flames. They played often at all the hot clubs at the time including the Hotel Workers Union, St Maarten Club, Bonaire Club, Suriname Club, Rooi Lamoenchie, RCA etc.

In 1974 Flash left Aruba together with Franklin "Frankie" Arrindell, his good friend, to further his studies in Holland, where he lived for 15 years, in Rotterdam. There he formed another group; “Flash Tropical Steels and Brass”, a combination of Steel band and Brass.
They played throughout Europe and were also fortunate to be one of the first bands to play at the “Hoogstraten Festival” in Belgium. This event started in the back yard of a house and has now grown into a Mega festival attracting over 500.000 people every year.
His band also accompanied singers like Cassandra Lispier from Aruba, who made the hit song 30, for Aruba’s 30th carnival anniversary and Macario “Macai” Prudencia from Curaçao. Flash made the arrangement for Macai’s hit song “Dim Dam" (bo’n sa huma bo’n sa bebe bo’n sa dim dam tampoko) for which Macai received a golden record for selling over 50.000 CD’s.

1n 1989 Flash got employment on St Maarten at “Independent Consulting Engineers” as head of the drafting department based on his education and experience in this field and he moved to St.Maarten.
In 1990 he married Shirley Gregoria and together they have 3 children.

In 1992 he started his own businesses “Proline Music” selling professional musical instruments, and “Flash Tropical” a one-man band playing music at several hotels, resorts and restaurants. At some of these places he played for 14 years. He also traveled with Government to Russia and England and in July 2003 he played for the Antillean day in New York.

In April 2004 Frankie decided to come to St. Maarten for the carnival season and when picking Frankie up at the Airport, Flash met Maria again after a long time. This inspired him to write the song “Maria” which is the title track of his CD.
Flash decided to put the video clip on the CD so that it can be viewed on a computer making it the first time that a local artist made this combination. It was produced completely locally on Sint Maarten.

In January 2005 Flash got ill and went to Curaçao for medical treatment and later that year in August to be exact he was treated in Boston USA for a brain tumor which left his right side paralyzed. Flash prays every day that the Lord will help him get better again but until then he believes that faith will get him through.

His latest CD recording named “Maria” is a testament to his musical abilities. With it, he takes you through many moods with various genres of music.

On March 18th 2006, the Chuchubi Foundation honoured Flash for his musical contributions to the culture and music of Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles. The Chuchubi Foundation is a made up of Arubans residing on St. Maarten, that aims to maintain the cultural ties between the islands.

Flash is admired and loved by many who he has entertained. Many look forward to seeing him and hearing him play when they visit the island.
His CD's are still available, at his music store; Proline Music or directly from him.

Flash is temporarily off the music scene. We are praying that he will soon be back on the scene.

Daves's Surprise Party

Island honours tourism shareholders for dedication

……… The Dutch side awardees were Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino Head of Housekeeping Pearl Arnell, Russell Bell of Elle Si Belle Transport/Tours, PJD2 Radio Station Managing Director/Small Hotelier Donald Hughes, Royal Islander Resort Reservation Manager Lucy Smith and entertainer Rosindo “Flash” Pantophlet. ………..

Sadly, I report that Flash has passed away, on Jan 10th 2008, after a long fight.
Many will remember his always smiling face as he made us happy with his music.
Our deepest condolences to his family.
May his soul Rest In Peace

T R I B U T E S - to - F L A S H
Sarah Morgan; Oranjestad Aruba

Remebering Rosendo "Flash" Pantophlet: July 29, 1951 - January 10, 2008

As neighbors we attended the same elementary school in San Nicholas, Aruba.
Rosendo learned steel-pan at an early age. His master was music icon Edgar Connor, now deceased.

Rosendo entertained family, friends and fans. He made us happy with his music and laughter. Remember the "Simple Souls" band and fan club 60's to 70's? Fans met at the "Don Bosco Club" every Sunday afternoon.

Rosendo completed the J. F. Kennedy School and continued hos studiesin architecture in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, he started his second band while studying in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Remember "Flash Tropical Steel and Brass"70's to 90's? Fans dancing all night at the "Hooiberg" in Rotterdam.

Rosendo was also a driving force behind the first Antillean carnival in 1982 in Utrech. He helped us make this event a big success.

In the early 90's, he migrated to his parents homeland, St. Maarten.
He established himself as an architect builder, managing Pro=Line Music instrument store.

Rosendo's passion eventually drove him to to start a one-man band. Surrounded by his favorite instruments, he delighted inhabitants and visitors at several hotels and tourist sites on the island of St. Maarten.

Rosendo was a born leader, yet humble. Rosendo was a pioneer in music. Flash did it his way.

My sincerest condolences to all who admired and loved him - his family, friends and fans.
"Rosendo rust zacht." "Ayooooo" faithful friend.
Sarah Morgan; Oranjestad Aruba

T R I B U T E S - to - F L A S H

The Chuchubi Foundation, an organisation for Arubans living on St. Maarten, is very saddened by the news of the passing of Rosendo "Flash" Pantophlet.

Flash got involved in music at a very young age, first attending Princess Marijke Schoolin San Nicholas and later John F Kennedy School. With his own band, Simple Souls, he played at Don Bosco Club in San Nicholasprimarily on Sundays.
In the Netherlands, where he studied architrctural engineering, he founded "Flash Tropical Steel and Brass Band". He played at the De Hooiber Club in Rotterdam. He travelled around Europe with his band and became a well-known artist in the Netherlands.

After that he established himself on St. Maarten, where he combined hs work as architect and selling musical instruments and music records and CDs.
He started One Man Band featuring steel pan and piano music.
A few years ago he released a CD named Maria.
He was active in the Chuchubi Foundation and was honoured by this group two years ago.
Musicians in the Netherlands paid homage to Flash last year.He always kept in close contact with other artists from Aruba.

He tried to keep his illness quiet for a long time and kept going. With his passing at the young age of 56, St. Maarten and Aruba lost a great friend and musical talent.

We wish Flash's family much strength in these hard times.
Taken from the Daily Herald Jan 18th 2008

T R I B U T E S - to - F L A S H
Marcel Reys, Capelle aan den IJssel, The Netherlands

I was shocked to hear that Flash passed away.
I have to say that we didn't see eachother for quite a long time, but I used to be one of the trumetplayers who joined his band in Rotterdam in the early '80's.
Flash learned me to play all this lovely caribean music like salsa,soca, merengue and more...
In 1991 I graduated at the concevatory of music (trumpet-jazz) in The Hague, Holland, but I still use Flash's tip's and know how when I've got to play latinmusic. I remember the rehersels very well...
He was not satisfied quickly when I played his music but he was always encouriging me in perfect armony and we had a lot of fun... also with his brother Ben on drums and Cassandra with her lovely voice and Frankie on trumpet and steel's...

I hope that his family and friends may have the strength to bear this terrible lost!
My love to everybody who is concerned.

Marcel Reys, Capelle aan den IJssel, The Netherlands

I just saw that Marcel (1) Streef , saxophoneplayer, left a message as well...
He is is shure right about this period in the 80's...
It feld like a nice family with Flash as a kind of father, however the fact that Flash only was about 10 years older than Marcel 1 and me (Marcel 2)... We had a good time!
Í am very sorry that I didn't see him after he left in 1989 and that I never met his wife and kids.

It's just funny that about 7 years ago I had to play on the Heineken Jazz Festival on Curacao and I only was there for about 6 days, but later I heard that Flash, when he found out about me playing on Curacao, was a bit disappointed that I didn't visit him on St.Maarten, and even better; He would have visited me on Curacao if he would only have known that I was playing there...
Isn't that sweet?

I am just sorry that I never met his wife but, please sent my love to her and their kids,
I hope they are doiing well...
I will never forget Flash!
My dear regards,
Marcel Reys, Capelle aan den IJssel, The Netherlands

T R I B U T E S - to - F L A S H
Marcel Streef (Marcel 1) Rotterdam The Netherlands

It was a great shock to learn that Flash had died.
I saw him for the last time round 1989 when Flash moved from Rotterdam to St Maarten.

I started to play saxophones in Flash Tropical in the early 80’ties, about a year later trumpet player Marcel Reys joined the band, from then on we were known in the scene in Holland as Marcel 1 and 2.
As Marcel 2 has already written, the rehearsals were special. For me this was the first experience in a latin band, Flash always knew exactly how he wanted the music to be interpreted and I can still hear him call out “nog een keer, nog een keer, nog een keer” (again, again, again) Always 3 or more times in a row when we almost played what he wanted, but not just completely right.

I learned a great deal from Flash about playing all the different styles of latin music. In his band it felt like being part of a family with Benny, Cassandra, George, Pang, Marcel 2, Tissy, Rinus and others under the direction of “daddy” Flash. Very special were the concerts with Macario Prudencia and our Christmas Shows in Amsterdam.
With Christmas we used to have our own party backstage with nice food and giving each other presents.

I look back to playing with Flash and his band with great pleasure and affection, he will be sadly missed.
My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, I wish them much strength to bear this terrible loss.
Marcel Streef (Marcel 1) Rotterdam The Netherlands

T R I B U T E S - to - F L A S H
Tony Savery, Holland

I am really shocked and saddened at the news that Flash has passed away and my heart goes out to all his family, Benny, Lena and friends. My sincere condolences.
Only a few days ago did I hear this terrible news from an old friend of mine, Marcel Streef who on occasions formed part of the horn section together with myself in the early eighties.

My first recollection of Flash was in the spring of 1982. At that time I was playing in the trumpet section of the Utrecht’s Jazz Orkest in Holland and one of the sax players was Artwell Cain from St. Vincent. We got chatting and he told me about an Antillian combo that he was also playing in, and that they were looking for a trumpet player. I told him that I was interested and the very next day I received a telephone call from Flash.

Flash was never one to let grass grow under his feet, and quite typically of him as I later found out, he came around the very next day, armed with a piece of music which he had just written. I had an old keyboard, which he was able to get some sort of a tune out of with me endeavouring to play along with on my trumpet.
He seemed quite satisfied, and I was happy that he was obviously the sort of person that I could easily get along with.

I really enjoyed working with Flash Tropical Steel and Brass. There were a few stumbling blocks during rehearsals and gigs, these very often being misunderstanding in the way that he wrote the music – During one rehearsal he said to me, “Tony, I thought the music was only supposed to be a guide!” Well he knew what he wanted and I suppose that it was my first experience of playing in that kind of band, so I tried my best to look into his mind, and things did start to take shape. The other half of the horn section at that time was of course Artwell on tenor sax. We got along fine and I remember him for playing like Sonny Rollins and singing like Bob Marley.

In the early part of 1984, Flash had managed to scrape the money together for the whole band to go to Aruba for the Carnival. I remember well that while we were waiting around at Schiphol Airport, I met Edgar Supriano for the first time, and it was to become one of many more meetings, playing Salsa together with him. He was heading for Curacao.

Flash obviously meant business going on this trip, and must have had his eye on the prize money at the Song Festival, as he supplemented the horn section with Junior on trombone and Frankie on trumpet. Also we had an ace up our sleeves in the form of another singer in the shape of Quicksilver, to team up with Cassandra and Cisko.

I will never forget Aruba and the pleasure meeting the parents of Flash and also other families of the band.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was when Flash took me to the radio station on the island. Apparently there had been some interest in this single Englishman in an Antillian band and so he accompanied me to be interviewed on the radio.

Then there was the Aruba Carnival, which was pretty heavy going in that heat. I must have sweated buckets, but there was always enough beer.
What a pity we did not win anything at the Caribbean Song Festival. It was quite an occasion and as I remember, held in the football stadium. There was great rivalry between the bands and it seemed that we, the band from Holland, were the enemy and the bad guys – but it was all good fun and through it all Flash kept smiling. Also, as I had to get back to Holland after two weeks for my job, I met up with Pang and his family in Curacao before flying back.

The things that I will remember Flash for are his friendly cheerful nature and rather impetuous, sometimes chaotic side to his character. He always seemed to be in a hurry and whenever he was around, you could hear him talking very loudly even if you were in the next room. But that’s the way he was and it all came from him having such enthusiasm for what he was doing.
We always got paid though, even if it was breakfast time before all the equipment was packed in the van and Flash came round with the money.

Flash, did you ever get those brakes fixed on the old Ford Transit?
Rest in peace,
Tony Savery, Holland


PANTOPHLET : Flash Isenio Rosendo (56 aña)
A laga atras su kasá Shirley Pantophlet-Gregoria,
yunan Talya, tarik,
Tyrell Pantophlet,
Tatiana Martina,
Kyle Bennett,
kevin Bennett,
Laura van Heusden,
Dillan van Heusden,
Altisha Barry,
mama Marie Pantophlet-Priest,
tata Stanley Pantophlet.
Akto di entiero ta djasabra na Church of The Risen Christ.
Bishita 1or. Pa 3or tin un sirbishi i despues pa santana na Cul de Sac.

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