Pan Masters can provide a small or large ensemble depending on your needs. Normally our ensembles consist of various types of steel pans, drumset, and percussion.
How much space does the band require to set up?
We require a minimum of 10 x 10 feet to accommodate our equipment.
Does the band need sound reinforcement?
Generally, our steelband does not need sound amplification and we do not travel with microphones or a sound system. When we play at outdoor concerts, a sound system may be used if it is provided by the client. If you require a microphone for announcements and cannot provide this yourself, please let us know in advance and we may be able to accommodate.
What else does the band require at a gig?
We require parking for a 14-foot Ryder-type truck.
What kind of music does Pan Masters play?
We play a variety of music. From calypso to jazz, pop to reggae, any kind of music can be played on the steel pan and we strive to provide a diverse mix of music to showcase the capabilities of the instruments. Our calypso selections are drawn from some of the latest tunes from Trinidad, as well as some old-time classics from calypsonians such as Lord Kitchener. Our repertoire is similar to what you might hear today from the best steelbands in Trinidad. Our musical arrangers have learned their art by playing with some of these bands, such as the Renegades and Desperadoes steel orchestras.
Does Pan Masters take requests?
The players in Pan Masters generally learn music the way that most steelbands in Trinidad do: by rote (ear). Our musical arrangements are quite intricate pieces that have taken weeks to put together. That's why we sound so great! Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for us to take requests on the spot for songs that are not in our repertoire. Just as a symphony orchestra is a complex group and it would be difficult for them to accommodate an on-the-spot request, it is the same case for Pan Masters Steel Orchestra. However, if you have any special songs that you would like to hear at your event, please let us know when you are booking the group and we may be able to accommodate your request.
Can people dance at a Pan Masters performance?
Yes, and it is highly encouraged! However, if any portions of your event require a more mellow, laid-back mood, please let us know and we can accommodate that as well.
How long does the band play for?
Generally, we play in sets of 45 minutes, with a 15-minute break between sets. If you would like music to be played during breaks and are unable to provide a CD player, please let us know. We can also make recommendations for DJs.
How much does it cost to hire the band?
Please contact our bookings department; we will work directly with you.
Why should I hire Pan Masters for my event?
Whatever the occasion, Pan Masters will provide musical entertainment that will make your event an unforgettable experience. We have been performing professionally for 22 years, and have the reputation of being one of the top steelbands on the east coast. Our organization is also recognized as an important cultural institution in the DC area.
I'd like to hear the band, but I can't attend any of your upcoming public performances. Where can I hear the group?
Our panyard is open to the public when the band has practices. These are generally on Friday evenings, but for the most current practice schedule, please contact the steelband coordinator.
What kind of events has Pan Masters performed at?
Bluemont Concert Series, Institute of Musical Traditions Concert Series, Presidential Inaugurations, weddings, birthday parties, pool parties, schools, bar mitzvahs, DC Caribbean Carnival, Brooklyn J'Ouvert Carnival Parade, the Smithsonian, and countless festivals!
Do you provide any educational opportunities about steel pan?
We always say that we love to educate while we entertain. We are happy to make presentations at our performances about how our instruments are made, where they come from, and we explain about the cultural traditions associated with them. There are a lot of misconceptions about this instrument, and we feel it's our duty to educate our audiences. We have played at countless schools and cultural festivals for this purpose. Please also see our section on pan classes.