Missionaries like William Evenhouse, a Dutch-American musician and teacher, and Reverend Jan Boer, a Dutch-Canadian preacher. Both men resettled in Jos in the 60s.
As a young, passionate musician and producer Evenhouse set up a studio in the mid-80s with help from a young man called Panam Percy Paul, who would go on to become one of Nigeria’s most popular gospel musicians. The studio provided the backdrop for many of the young children born to the clergymen and their converts in the city to launch a music platform under Panam’s guidance. When Evenhouse left mission employment in Nigeria to take up a role at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, he sold the equipment to Panam, who relocated it to Tafawa Balewa Street and created the record label Panam Music World. He has also set up a music college in the city.
The Evenhouse studio is where Panam used to do all his work, Jesse Jagz.“[He] is a demigod. I used to record albums as a producer for a lot of artistes. There’s nobody below the age of fifty that did not grow up listening to Panam’s music, there’s nobody that doesn’t know him. He was what everybody who was the musician’s musician listened to. There’s no artiste in the north and Nigeria at large, whether in church or not, that has not been influenced by Panam.”
Panam still leads congregations in the city.
From his church he reflects on how far the young musicians he watched growing up have come: “All these boys are my children,” he says with pride. “P-Square used to record demos at my studio. Jeremiah [Gyang] would come around a lot and those Abaga boys produced albums for people there too. Their parents are my good friends. It’s a thing of joy to see them progress and become top musicians.”
Panam’s concerts were the first major introduction to the showman life for the young, impressionable kids of Jos. Panam was everything in Jos, in terms of music, The whole town would shelve every programme and attend his concert, [He] would go to churches too to perform.
Now It is safe to say artist like 2baba, P-Square, M I, Jesse and all others that are leading the music industry today first learnt their craft and show business skills from people like Panam.
!!!So if you keep wondering why a little city like Jos keep producing outstanding musicians and entertainers, here is one reason why!!!