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Conroy Warren

At the age of 13, Conroy and his family moved from their native island of Antigua to ST. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands. They settled on the southeastern part of the island. It was at this stage of his development that he realized his interest in music and his ability to perform for others. He would often sing while tapping on the desk at school and the dining table at home. A few years later, at age 15 or 16, he picked up his older brother's guitar that was left at home and began teaching himself to play. This led to his involvement with other young musicians from the area that had similar ambitions. They later formed a band called " The Explosions." After high school, and with the guidance of his older brother Alfred, Conroy auditioned and was accepted at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned a professional diploma in arranging and composition in 1977. In 1985 he attended Herbert H. Lehman College in New York City, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music. The Berklee College of Music environment was a positive experience for Conroy. While studying and honing his skills, he was fortunate to be exposed to some of the best and most talented musicians and artist in the business both on and off campus. While at Berklee, Conroy performed extensively on the local Boston scene, and at one point leading his own group, "True Culture." He also performed and toured with a top Boston gospel choir R.I.C.C, and journeyed with them to "Festac 77" in Lagos, Nigeria. During this time, Conroy traveled to New York City to perform with the "Jaguars." This band backed up some of the Caribbean's biggest stars, such as the Mighty Sparrow, Arrow, Swallow, and Calypso Rose.

In 1978 Conroy returned to ST, Thomas, where he first started his music career. He performed extensively on the local music seen with various artist, bands and singing groups, including two of the top singing groups in the Virgin Islands at that time, "Ecstasy," an all female group and "The Pearls," an all male group. He also performed with "Mandingo Brass" and recorded with Eddie and the Movements in their debut album, "Dread High." Conroy's next stop on his musical journey was "SPLASH." This was a creative group that placed emphasis on being a band with a tight rhythm section and indeed it was. Three of the members including drummer Kibo, bassist Max and vocalist Bupsy Harrigan, were the younger brothers of the famous international singer and musician Jon Lucien. (At one point Conroy also performed with the Harrigan brothers' father, guitarist Rico Harrigan and his group "Rico and The Moon Walkers.") The other two members that completed the sextet were keyboardist Owen Lance and vocalist the late Gene George. After Conroy's stint with "SPLASH," he worked with the St. John based group "Pillsbury Sound." This was a fun gig. The group performed mostly on the hotel circuit and was led by pianist Carl Powell. During this time, Conroy was employed by the Virgin Island Department of Education as a Music Teacher. It was a common site to see Conroy shuttling back and forth between ST. Thomas and St. John. Ocasionally, he would stay over night on St. John and then leave early the day, by ferry to get to his job at the Evelyn Marcelli Elementary School, in down town Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas.

One of the most enlightning experiences for Conroy while he was in the Virgin Island, was his decision to collaborate with fellow musicians to create "NATURAL LIFE." The nucleus of the group was bassist the late Mario Russell, the late and talented pianist Wayne Francis and Conroy. The group dedicated themselves to composing and performing their original compositions. This experience gave Conroy the motivation and opportunity to further develop his writing and arranging skills that he learned at the Berklee College of Music. The group lasted for several years, constantly changing drummers and lead vocalist. Finally the nucleus of the group decided to move to New York City where the trio decided to go their seperate ways. At present, Conroy performs solo acts as well as with his band "COASTAL ZONE."  He also teaches and conducts therapeutic music and cultural enrichment programs for government and private agencies throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Conroy expresses his deepest respect and admiration, for the pioneers who laid down the foundation for him, upon which to build. Artist such as The Mighty Sparrow, Milo & The Kings, Byron Lee & The Dragonairs, King Obstinate, Laviscount Combo, Carlos Santana, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklyn, Wes Montgomery, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Eric Gayle and many of the leading singing groups of the 50's, 60's and 70's. These artist and musicians provided him with a wealth of musical information, for which he is grateful.

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