Steel+ is at the forefront of one of the most creative and compelling movements in contemporary music. This progressive steel band is shaking up audiences from New York to Finland with its infectious sound.
Sweet Pans 'n Ivory is the debut release from this energetic, original and accomplished group, whose music ranges from pop to easy listening jazz to calypso to Latin. Steel+ gives a fresh interpretation to such standards as "Stella by Starlight" and "Speak Low" and energizes pop classics like "Diana" and "Time After Time."
The group - Alston Jack, Roger Sardinha, Wayne "Birdie" Kirton, Errol Wise, Manny Ramos, Glen Rivera and Ralph Ropper - was first formed in the 1970s by executive producer Bovain Hunt with different musicians and was formerly known as Bamboo. Bamboo performed at the New York City Bicentennial celebrations in 1976, playing at ceremonies for the parade of Tall Ships.
A bicentennial barge converted to a floating library was docked at Robert Clemente State Park on the Harlem River alongside the amphitheatre where we performed twice a day. NYC school kids on field trips visiting the barge were treated to live performances. "We couldn't believe how the kids sat enraptured for so long - a good 45 minutes. They would shout, 'Yeah! Yeah!' The steel really cooled the kids out," Bovain said. That's the type of reaction the group always gets.
Steel+ performed at the 1996 Pori Jazz Festival in Finland. The group played eight out of ten days at this prestigious world festival. The program included the McCoy Tyner Trio, Horace Silver Septet, Manhattan Transfer, Herbie Hancock, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band conducted by Jon Faddis, Isaac Hayes, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Chico O'Farrill's Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, among others.
It was an incredible experience, as Steel+ won the hearts of its standing-room only audience who danced in the aisles and flooded the stage.
And so the steel explosion continues. Many schools throughout the United States and elsewhere in the world have programs for steel drum music. Pan music is especially popular in Scandinavia, Japan and Europe.
Stay tuned to our underground steel connection and visit the Steel+ Web site for music from the Pori festival and beyond.
Come groove with the power of the steel. All feedback appreciated. Thanks !