News Releases

In memory of a native icon UWI Honorary Graduate, Jit Samaroo

For Release Upon Receipt - January 11, 2016

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. January 11, 2016 – “The University recognised him because he was creative, innovative and he broke a lot of barriers.” This is how Pro Vice-Chancellor Campus Principal of The UWI St. Augustine, Professor Clement Sankat, described the late, great music icon, Jit Samaroo.   

Sankat was referencing the 1993 conferment of an honorary doctoral degree to Samaroo, and was pleased that he was recognized by the University and the country. The Principal also took the opportunity to commit The UWI to appropriate ways to honour and immortalise this great man of Trinidad and Tobago culture at his funeral this past weekend.  

Of the many people who have also reflected on Jit Samaroo’s legacy recently, Professor Theodore Lewis cast Samaroo’s absence from the local pan scene as a ‘consequential loss.’ Not only was he innovative with his musical strategies, Samaroo projected a high level of integrity in the steel pan fraternity and had ground-breaking collaborations with artists. Theodore’s brief recap of Samaroo’s musical achievements included a reference to the synergies and respectful regard that existed between Samaroo and Kitchener – an example for the present time and for generations to follow.  

Professor Sankat added, “Jit's music thrilled and entertained us for a few decades, and just as he could with the pan and the Renegades and with the Samaroo Jets, get us to move our bodies in rhythmic fashion during Carnival like with Mighty Duke's ‘Is Thunder’ so could he pull our heart strings with ‘Suhani Raat’ or ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. He crossed the greats traditions of our music, was unique and innovative, representing the best of Trinidad and Tobago, a wonderful human being and a true friend of The UWI. He was always there for us and I will miss him" 

In the coming weeks The UWI community will decide on its own tribute to Jit Samaroo. But for now, The UWI joins the musical community and the culture community as well as Trinidadians and Tobagonians everywhere in mourning the passing of Jit Samaroo. The UWI extends condolences to the Samaroo family and to all who have been touched by the life of this great man. 




About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)