U.S. Navy Steelband Reunited for Sounds of the City

5th June 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Williams Research Center
410 Chartres Street
New Orleans
LA 70130
$10; $5 for THNOC members; and free for Caillot Circle, Jackson Society, Laussat Society, and Bienville Circle members
The Historic New Orleans Collection
(504) 523-4662

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.