KU Percussion Group with special guest Andy Akiho @ Lied Center of Kansas
Jan 31 @ 7:30 pm

Described as “mold-breaking,” “alert and alive,” “dramatic,” and “vital” by The New York Times, Andy Akiho is an eclectic composer and performer of contemporary classical music. A virtuoso percussionist based in New York City, his primary performance instrument is the steel pan. Notable engagements include commissions by the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra and Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW, and multiple concerts at the Kennedy Center.

Akiho has been recognized with several awards, including the 2014–15 Luciano Berio Rome Prize, the 2015 Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund, a 2014 Fromm Foundation Commission from Harvard University, the 2014 American Composers Orchestra Underwood Emerging Composers Commission and many others. Additionally, his compositions have been featured on PBS’s News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

Akiho will be joined by the KU Percussion Group (KUPG), a nationally renowned chamber percussion ensemble dedicated to performances of new and classic percussion repertoire. Mobilizing percussion’s enormous sonic and stylistic breadth, KUPG presents invigorating performances of classic repertoire while collaborating with composers on groundbreaking new works.

KUPG’s mission is to work closely with composers on new works for percussion ensemble and is proud to have collaborated with some of America’s most talented young composers, including Amy Beth Kirsten, Tonia Ko, Caroline Shaw, Thomas Kotcheff and Andrea Mazzariello.

Victor Provost & Josanne Francis @ AMP by Strathmore
Feb 1 @ 8:00 pm

The sounds of the steelpan may conjure images of a sunny day in the Caribbean, but this versatile instrument is capable of a wide spectrum of genres and moods. Celebrated steelpan phenoms Victor Provost and Josanne Francis take you on an international journey that explores steelpan music from all hemispheres and the role of the percussive powerhouse in everything from jazz to Hindustani music.

Provost is a dazzling soloist whose improvisational voice and style earned him honors as “Jazz Percussionist of the Year” by Washington City Paper six years running and praise for his most recent album, Bright Eyes. Francis, known for her unique mix of Calypso, jazz, Indian, funk, rock and classical styles, is an alumna of Strathmore’s prestigious Artist in Residence program and has performed at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and numerous festivals around the world. Together Provost and Francis bring a diverse blend of genres to the AMP stage, rarely seen for the steelpan.

Vintage Fuh So! + Steel @ Queen's Hall, St. Ann's
Feb 8 @ 8:00 pm

Vintage Fuh So! + Steel, remembering our greats.

Steel Pan Showcase @ Bermuda Institute Auditorium
Feb 10 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Bermuda Institute presents steelpan showcase featuring local talent: Bermuda Institute Steelband, Sommersfield Steel Orchestra, De Onion Patch Crew, Berkeley Institute.

Mark Cherrie at Marlow @ Marlow Jazz Club
Feb 19 @ 8:30 pm

Marlow Jazz Club are excited about their February gig, thought to be one of the most unusual in their 42 year history of live events. It will feature the highly acclaimed and very successful Mark Cherrie Quartet. Leader Mark, from Trinidad, is a brilliant exponent of an instrument rare on the jazz scene – the steel pan, but far from concentrating on Caribbean music, his Quartet’s repertoire covers a wide spectrum, and his best selling new album “Joining The Dots” includes tunes by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny as well as original material and the traditional folk tune “scarborough Fair”. One of Britain’s top pianist John Donaldson is a big name in the Quartet along with Eric Ford on drums and Mick Hutton on bass.

Steel Impressions Steelband @ Riverhead Free Library
Feb 23 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Escape to Margaritaville with the pulsing, rhythmic sounds of the steelpan. Tee Tee Solo will have you swaying and singing to her memorable Caribbean songs. No registration necessary.

6th Annual Sons of Steel @ Kaiso Blues Cafe
Feb 24 @ 8:30 pm

The 6th Annual One Evolution featuring Olujimi La Pierre, Noel La Pierre, Earl La Pierre jr., and Duvone Stewart.

Gregory Boyd to give concert in Minsk @ Belarusian State Philharmonic Society
Mar 17 @ 7:00 pm

Gregory Boyd, a jazz musician from Denmark, will give a concert in the Belarusian State Philharmonic. “The concert of Gregory Boyd is a unique opportunity to hear unusual world-class music performed by a sincere, charismatic, and talented musician. He will play his own hit songs composed in the best traditions of the Afro-American jazz, funk, blues and soul, and also classics of the American jazz while interacting with the audience and inviting them to sing along and become co-authors of his music,” the philharmonic representatives noted. Gregory Boyd possesses a low voice typical of Afro-American jazzmen, but he can also hit high notes using vocal techniques which are more characteristic of the blues manner. He changes the manner of singing several times in one song giving it a sense of improvisation. Gregory Boyd is also a multi-instrumentalist. He plays the piano and the steelpan which looks like a big steel pan but sounds like a soft tune of an electric piano. One can only listen to such a combination of archaic classics, exotic ethnic music, and modern electronics at rare avant-garde concerts. The music which the jazzman writes himself resembles the classic New Orleans jazz. “Gregory Boys stresses the rhythm section. Sometimes we may hear only his voice and a steelpan as a percussion. But starting from this minimalism he often develops the composition, involving more and more musicians. Such a manner allows him to combine the early orchestral New Orleans jazz and the late ‘hot’ jazz which is characterized by a solo improvisation,” the philharmonic representatives said.

Iowa Days of Percussion Mass Steel Band Concert @ Central College
Mar 30 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Iowa Days of Percussion Mass Steel Band Concert at Central Hall.

Andy Narell @ Oakland University - Varner Studio Theatre
Apr 3 @ 7:30 am

Legendary steel-pan artist Andy Narell brings his unique blend of jazz, Latin and calypso music to OU. Narell is the pioneer of bringing the steel pan into the world of jazz with his imaginative improvisation and acclaimed original compositions. He will be joined by OU jazz and world music faculty. Doors open 7pm.