U.S. Navy Steel Band To Reunite For Steelpan Drum Celebration In New Orleans
As part of the exhibition “New Orleans Medley: Sounds of the City” – an exploration of New Orleans music hosted by The Historic New Orleans Collection – members of the U.S. Navy Steel Band are reuniting to perform, on Wednesday, June 5. A band of pannists, musicians favoring the steelpan instrument which originated in Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. Navy Steel Band performed over 20,000 concerts before disbanding in 1999.
Formed in 1957 by U.S. Navy Admiral Daniel V. Gallery (who was stationed in Puerto Rico at the time), the band helped popularize Caribbean music in America. After gaining success in the New Orleans music scene in 1973, the U.S. Navy Steel Band went on to obtain worldwide recognition.
“The Steelpan Drums of New Orleans,” the performance by the U.S. Navy Steel Band, will be held at THNOC’s Williams Research Center, at 410 Chartres St. The event will be hosted by Professor Andrew R. Martin, whose area of study at Inver Hills College includes Afro-Caribbean music and the development of steel bands and pannists in North America. Included as part of the night’s event, a lecture on the steel drum will be held in accordance with the performance.
By Michael Frank
Offbeat magazine – www.offbeat.com