Steel Pan

 
Tenor Pan-Desktop

The steel drum is a unique musical instrument created in the late 1930s on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Made from 55-gallon barrels, the drums have a rustic appearance but a sophisticated sound that surprises listeners.

Musicians expressing themselves with the haunting, melodic sound from steel containers soon discovered ways to produce distinct tones from the convex-shaped surface of drums of all kinds. They began playing simple songs and a new sound was added to the folk music of Trinidad. It is called calypso. Since the 1940s many advances have been made, the drums are now concave with the notes hammered up. Nine varieties of steel drums or ‘pans’ as they are called in Trinidad, exist allowing the musician to play a full range of voices with the steel drum. This 20th Century percussion instrument sometimes combines its sounds with other percussion to create a lively, festive music that began in the celebration of Carnival in Trinidad.

In 1982 James began playing steel pan while teaching a Boys and Girls Club group, then spent a year in the Caribbean aboard cruise ships and learning more about steel drums and the people of Trinidad. He also spent three years as a building apprentice to Ellie Mannette, known as the father of the steel drum.. Since then he has traveled to Trinidad, St. Lucia and New York many times to participate in their annual Panorama competition.

James celebrated his first Panorama championship in 2007 while playing pan with North Stars in St. Lucia. Then in 2009, he helped capture a win with Sforzata Steel Orchestra in Trinidad. Also a win in NY with Pan Sonatas in 2009. And this year James also played with Pan Sonatas for a second consecutive Panorama win in 2010. James plays with the Exodus Steel Orchestra in Trinidad placing second place in 2011..the band received one million dollars in prize money.

J.T.’s ISLAND STEEL™ is Phoenix’s premier steel drum band. ISLAND STEEL features a solo steel drummer with backing tracks and PA system to a full steel drum orchestra, including Moko Jumbie Stilt Walkers, Limbo Dancers and Much, Much more….

J.T.’s Island Steel™ has grown from two musicians and three steel drums to eight to ten talented musicians playing a full range of steel drums or pans, including the bass, cello, guitar, double second and ping-pong or lead pan drum.

JT’s Island Steel™ is comprised of musicians experienced in all varieties of instruments from classical violin to jazz piano, expertly trained by J.T. to create the calypso sound from the islands of the Caribbean. The band is heard throughout Arizona and southern California at poolside concerts, festivals, clam bakes, limbo parties and beach front resorts. Just as ‘Carnival’ brings out the best of the panists in Trinidad, the spring and summer weather in the Southwest brings the music lovers outside to listen to Island Steel™ and the first truly unique musical instrument of the 20th Century. This island sound can create a relaxing and soothing tropical atmosphere with a few musicians, or a festive, energetic atmosphere with a full band in the tradition of Trinidad’s Carnival!!

Enjoy this short video of JT’s Island Steel performing “Latin on the Court”

 

The New CD is Out!

You’ve got to hear it to believe it. Never has there been a steel drum band recording that has sounded this good.Featuring James “JT” Taylor – This CD is a compilation of classic Caribbean tunes. Get out the lounge chair and sit back and relax to the soothing sounds of the steel drum. – If you listen closely you can almost hear the waves lapping against the shore.

$15.00 + $2.50 shipping and handling

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

 You will also enjoy “An Island Christmas”

Hark, The Herald Angels, Yellowbird, Carol of the Bells,Winter Wonderland,Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,Jamaica Farewell,God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,Jingle Bells,Let It Snow,Trepak,White Christmas,Calypso Noel,Feliz Navidad,Little Drummer Boy,Linus and Lucy,Mary’s Little Boy Child,Jump in the Line

$15.00 + $2.50 shipping and handling

 

 

 

 EDUCATION:

JT offers an “EDUTAINMENT” concert with historical, cultural and geographical information about the steel drums.

Residencies include JT providing an entire classroom full of steel drums and conducting a hands on workshop for all class levels, and culminates with a performance by the core group.

JT’s educational philosophy is to share traditional and contemporary music for the steel drum in an “EDUTAINMENT” approach; focusing on each songs rhythmic identity/ These are the rhythms that unite the world.

 

 

 

 

 Steel Band Arrangements Now Available

 

Robert Greenidge performing on Double Seconds

Contact: James “JT” Taylor

email: jtsteelusa@yahoo.com

phone: 1-602-577-5466

 

 

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