Childrens Concert with Andy Narell @ Oakland University Theatre - Varner Recital Hall
Apr 5 @ 10:00 am

This children’s concert will feature OU’s Pan Jumbies (Steel Band) with guest artist Andy Narell, who has composed many classic pieces for steel band and is one of the pioneering musicians of this instrument and art form, which was invented using recycled oil barrels on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Patrick Fitzgibbon, Ensemble director. Doors open 9:30am.

Steely Pan Steel Band @ Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center Educational Complex
Apr 5 @ 6:30 pm

The Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center will present a dinner concert by Appalachian State University’s Steely Pan Steel Band. The public is invited to experience Steely Pan’s energetic and innovative compositions at the Hiddenite Center’s Educational Complex. Audience members will enjoy a buffet meal before Steely Pan’s performance of steel drum music ranging from contemporary, classical, and popular music set to pan.

World Music Concert with Andy Narell @ Oakland University Theatre - Varner Recital Hall
Apr 5 @ 8:00 pm

OU’s World Music Ensembles’ annual winter concert featuring legendary steel pan artist Andy Narell. This concert will feature Narell’s stirring and beautiful compositions, which are revered classics in the steel band world and have become standards of the jazz repertoire. Patrick Fitzgibbon and Mark Stone, ensemble directors. Doors open 7:30pm.

Great Lakes Steelpan Festival @ Creekside Middle School
Apr 13 @ 7:00 pm

Local Chicago Music Award winner welcomes acclaimed international performers to Woodstock. Steelpan artists will be traveling from Virginia (Dave Longfellow) and as far as London (Sterling Betancourt) to perform along side Chicago Music Award Winner Potts & Pans Steelband. In addition, this year honors some of the legends of the Caribbean instrument often called the Steel Drum. These legends include Sterling Betancourt, Cliff Alexis, and Ellie Mannette. There is no other festival of this nature and magnitude in the area, and it only comes once a year.

The festival is open to all music lovers and culminates in an evening concert at 7:00 PM.

The 2019 Great Lakes Steelpan Festival (GLSF19) is the only music festival in Chicagoland specializing in the steelpan, the musical instrument from the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago, also commonly called the steel drum. This annual event is hosted by the Woodstock based 501(c)(3) organization, Culture, Arts & Music (

GLSF19 will feature local and guest musicians from Wisconsin and Minnesota along with guest artists coming from as far as London. Guest artists include Sterling Betancourt, Dave Longfellow, and Potts & Pans Steelband. This is a very special year for the festival as GLSF19 honors some of the legends of the steelpan community. One of the guests, Sterling Betancourt, is one of the original members of the Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra that traveled to London in 1951 to introduce the world to the steelpan. GLSF19 will also be honoring the memory of Dr. Clifford “Cliff” Alexis and Dr. Elliott “Ellie” Mannette. Ellie Mannette is regarded as the father of the modern-day steelpan and has been a frequent guest of the Great Lakes Steelpan Festival going back to the inaugural year of 2013. Cliff helped to shape the NIU Steelband into one of the most respected steelbands in the world. GLSF19 is a full day of incredible music culminating in an amazing concert at 7:00 PM that features all participating musicians and guest artists.

From steelpan aficionados to casual music lovers alike, GLSF19 is sure to deliver lasting memories and leave attendees yearning for next year. No matter what prior exposure audience members have had to the steelpan, GLSF19 will make every person in the room think a little differently about the instrument and what it is capable of. For more information about the festival, contact information or to purchase tickets at a reduced price.

About Great Lakes Steelpan Festival

Great Lakes Steelpan Festival was created to fill the void in top-level steelpan performances and educational events in the Midwest. Imagined by two Midwest pannists, that decided to start GLSF in order to create a closer option for bands like theirs, after meeting in Virginia for a different festival. The festival is run by local charitable organization, Culture, Arts & Music. Culture, Arts & Music celebrates world diversity, transporting people to different countries through immersive learning experiences.

Steelband Spring Concert @ Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall
Apr 19 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Steel Band Spring Concert, led by director Adam Rappel.

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not necessary, seating is general admission and available on a first-come, first-seated basis.

This event will be live streamed. Visit for more information.

Convenient parking is available at the University’s 19th Avenue and 21st Avenue parking ramps; you must pay a fee to park in these ramps.

NIU Steelband Concert @ Music Building, Boutell Memorial Concert Hall
Apr 21 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

NIU Steelband under the direction of Liam Teague and Yuko Asada.

West African Music and Steelband Concert @ Wesleyan University
May 3 @ 8:00 pm

An invigorating performance filled with rhythms and songs of West Africa, featuring Wesleyan Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music and master drummer John Dankwa, joined by students in West African drumming classes, Ghanaian choirs from Worcester, the Wesleyan Steelband ensemble, and guest performers.

Children’s Concert with Andy Narell @ Oakland University
May 4 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

This children’s concert will feature OU’s Pan Jumbies (Steel Band) with guest artist Andy Narell, who has composed many classic pieces for steel band and is one of the pioneering musicians of this instrument and art form, which was invented using recycled oil barrels on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Patrick Fitzgibbon, Ensemble director.

Sponsored by The Judd Family Endowed Fund.

Skiffle Steel Orchestra to return to Sweet Briar @ Sweet Briear
May 8 @ 7:30 pm

Caribbean Airlines Skiffle Steel Orchestra will return to Sweet Briar. The performance is part of the College’s Babcock Season.

Steel pan music is indigenous to Trinidad and reflects the country’s culture and history. Today’s steel pans evolved from discarded 55-gallon oil drums, long abundant in the former British colony where oil and gas are economic mainstays. A steel orchestra includes pans that perform bass lines, an assortment of midrange pans that play accompaniment patterns and countermelodies, pans higher in the range for melodies and harmonization of melodies, and a drum set, congas, iron, timbales, and a varied assortment of accessory percussion instruments. The Caribbean Airlines Skiffle Steel Orchestra is based in San Fernando and has repeatedly won Trinidad’s prestigious Panorama competition in the traditional category as well as the World Steelband Music Festival.

Their visit is part of an ongoing collaborative relationship between the group and Associate Professor of Performing Arts Jeffrey Jones, who directs Skiffle USA, Sweet Briar’s own steel band. Jones has performed with Skiffle multiple times during visits to Trinidad, including during performances at the Panorama Competition in 2013 and 2018.

Jones has researched the special place that steel bands have in Trinidad’s culture. “My work seeks to illuminate how pannists conceptualize the value of their musical experiences and employ this value towards their chosen ends,” Jones explained in 2012. “For most, musical nationalism is one small piece of a larger puzzle. Social networks, intrinsic fulfillment, and the like, are just as important to them, if not more so.” Pannists, he adds, claim their musical experience has helped them in social situations: making friends, finding work, and mediating or avoiding conflict.

This will be the orchestra’s third visit to Sweet Briar, having visited previously in 2017 and 2014. As in their earlier visits, the performance on May 8 will be the culmination of a week of activities between the orchestra, Sweet Briar students and students from universities and local high schools.

This spring, Jones is teaching a section of “CORE 150: Expression and the Arts” that is focused on Carnival music in Trinidad. The course explores the music from a global perspective, as a phenomenon of sound and of culture. Students in the class engage in a variety of hands-on activities, including learning to play steel pans, designing Carnival mas characters and costumes, and writing aesthetically and contextually appropriate calypso lyrics. The visit from the Skiffle Steel Orchestra will support the class and provide opportunities for intercultural discussions and masterclasses on a variety of subjects.

“I am especially looking forward to the Q&As,” Jones says, “as they will provide students opportunities for intercultural learning unlike anything they could possibly experience without going to Trinidad.”

Virginia International PANFest @ Virginia International PANFest
May 10 – May 11 all-day

Join world-class performers for a spectacular celebration of Caribbean music on the oceanfront in beautiful Virginia Beach.