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.

Inside Out Steelband in concert with Josanne Francis @ One World Theatre
May 16 @ 7:00 pm

Join Inside Out Steelband, the KIPP Austin Collegiate Steelband and guest steel pan artist Josanne Francis for a night of diverse steel band music in the beautiful setting of One World Theatre.
Born and raised in the twin-island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Josanne Francis is an internationally known steelpan performer and music educator. Her music delivers that special ‘extra’ that separates her from even the greats, and catapults listeners into a unique and exceptional place.
With hands that seem to float like the wings of a butterfly with a ‘wand-like’ touch, her music is not devoid of power when needed. Ms. Francis’ music blends together and draws influences from traditional Calypso music, Jazz, Indian, Funk, Rock and Classical music- a unique mix which is not typical for the instrument.

Pan Masters Steelband Jamboree @ Under the Big Tent
May 26 @ 3:00 pm

Pan Masters 2019 Steelband Jamboree featuring bands from New York, Philly, Maryland, DC, and Special guest drummer Earl Brooks Jr.

Soca for Breakfast – One Year Anniversary @ Yacht Club
May 27 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

The best wake up party in the world featuring a complimentary breakfast before 12pm, live DJs, Eclipse Band, Panlara Steelband.

Extempo Steelband @ Restaurant Goldenberg
May 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Extempo Steelband auf der Terrasse des Restaurants Goldenberg. Nur bei trockener Witterung. Auskunft über Durchführung gibt das Restaurant ab 14.30 Uhr. Reservation empfohlen.

Extempo Steelband @ Restaurant Goldenberg
Jun 4 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Extempo Steelband auf der Terrasse des Restaurants Goldenberg. Nur bei trockener Witterung. Auskunft über Durchführung gibt das Restaurant ab 14.30 Uhr. Reservation empfohlen.

U.S. Navy Steelband Reunited for Sounds of the City @ Williams Research Center
Jun 5 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

In the 1950s, a US Navy admiral stationed in Puerto Rico dreamed of growing the popularity of Caribbean music among stateside Americans. The US Navy Steel Band, formed in 1957 by Admiral Daniel V. Gallery, eventually performed more than 20,000 concerts worldwide before disbanding in 1999. In 1973, the band moved from its original headquarters in Puerto Rico to New Orleans and became an integral part of both the local and national music scene.

On Wednesday, June 5, retired members of the band—many of whom stayed in New Orleans—will reunite for a one-night performance and lecture at THNOC. Under the guidance of Andrew R. Martin, professor of music at Inver Hills College, the group will explore the steel drum as a musical instrument and its repertoire.

Martin is the author of Steelpan Ambassadors: The US Navy Steel Band, 1957–1999 (University Press of Mississippi). His research is centered on the theory and analysis of American popular music, as well as various aspects of Afro-Caribbean music and its phenomenal dissemination throughout North America and the globe. His chief focus investigates the development of Trinidadian steel bands and pannists outside of Trinidad and Tobago. Since 2011, Martin has written a semiregular newspaper column, “Pan Worldwide,” for the Trinidad Guardian.

This event is presented in conjunction with the exhibition New Orleans Medley: Sounds of the City.