Band Member Bios
Courtney M Panton
Courtney Michael Panton born February 20 in Wilmington, Delaware is the drummer for New Kingston. Picking up the sticks at a late age of 15 he was very passionate about the drums. Learning on his own with guidance from various mentors including his father Courtney LJ Panton and close friends of his father that were also drummers he found his true calling.
Music was always a part of Courtney's life. He was always playing a different instrument in the school bands from elementary to the end of high school. Before he thought about picking up drum sticks, his very first instrument was the piano. Then he gravitated to the trombone to the sax to the flute. Always exposed to different genres of music Courtney also became a Dj, playing at local clubs and colleges across the states. Humble and easy going but passionate and dedicated on the stage, Courtney has become a wonderful drummer and wonderful young man.
'Such a pleasure' as he says to play in a group and travel across the world with his two brothers. 'New Kingston has really been a blessing to me and i'd never trade it for the world. And I wish for more people to be touched and reached by our music'.
Stephen Martin Suckarie or "Steve/Suki" as he's known to family and friends, was born on July 24 in St. Andrew, Jamaica. A neighboring parish of Kingston and is the guitarist and lead vocalist of New Kingston. Born into a musical family of mostly vocalists, he wasted no time getting starting on music of his own. " As a child he would use spoons and sticks and hit anything that could make a sound. Playing them like a drum", says his mother and seeing his knack for music, Stephen was sent to music lessons and soon got his taste of "stardom" at one of the many local "stage shows" that were held in his community. "I wasn't a very public performer in my younger years and if you wanted to find me I was either locked in my room writing songs or out with my friends. But my grandmother used to put on the shows outside our house where she had a grocery shop and a bar and for years I watched people perform and longed to get on stage. At one show in particular I decided to go for it an I got on there and I sang "I Believe I Can Fly" from R. Kelly which was covered by a Jamaican artist named Chico and the rest is history. I haven't stopped performing since then and that was in 1997".
Stephen along with his mother and younger sister moved to New York the next year, where he entered into William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens. A welcomed change from his previous alma mater in Jamaica St. George's College. There he wasted no time putting his talents to use. He began acting and singing. Earning numerous awards from, NYU and the NYC English Speaking Union, also earning a partial scholarship to Julliard. After graduating high school, he decided to forfeit college after pursuing it for a short time, to pursue the career he set out to study for in the first place.
Joining forces with his "brothers" to form and create the group we now know as New Kingston today. Stephen started out just as the main vocalist of the group and later picked up the guitar with the help of "Father" Courtney Panton due to the groups extensive touring and work with other artists. “I’m happy that I get to do what I love to do which is to make and perform music. Hopefully I'll get back to my other love as well which is acting because I love being on stage and entertaining people and i get to do it with the "fam" New Kingston".
Tahir Salim Panton born July 25 in Brooklyn, New York is the keyboardist/vocalist of the group New Kingston. Loving music of every form he use to record the radio onto cassettes just to listen back to songs over and over again. Tahir is the type of guy that once he puts his mind to something the rest is history.
From an early age Tahir was exposed to music, playing all instruments but specializing in piano. Sports were another activity Tahir would focus on, he dominated in tennis, basketball and baseball. Tahir went to Brooklyn High School Of the Arts, where the school specialized in music, dance and art. Since piano is classified as a percussion instrument Tahir was forced to play in the percussion section. This helped broaden his musicianship, not only playing piano he played marimba/xylophone, timpani, general percussion and the drum set. Graduating in 2006 he continued his musical journey fully focusing on New Kingston.
He is focused on taking New Kingston straight to the top, behind the scenes and on the main stage. Loving to create music, production is very important to him. A well mannered individual Tahir is a great friend and family member who is always pushing for better.