frequently asked questions
- Where did you learn to play the Steel Drums?
Right here in Florida. Working in the Island Breeze Band I was exposed to the music of the Caribbean as well as West Indian Culture. My good friend, Glen Barclay introduced me to the best musicians from the islands that had migrated to Florida
- How do you play music on the Conch Shell?
First, you must prepare the shell by creating a hole to blow air through. I use a grinding wheel to grind the back tip of the shell down, then I use needle nose pliers to remove the rest of the interior until I have a cavity about the size of a trombone mouthpiece. Then, I sand it down and determine the natural pitch of the shell by blowing into it. Be sure to let the shell cool off after you take it off the grinding wheel. It's hot and will burn a nice ring around your chops if you get impatient. Also, you need to understand a little Brass playing technique (basically, buzz your lips). The pitch of any given shell is determined by the size it is when it stops growing. The ones that blow an in-tune pitch are the ones I like.
- Do you play Private Parties?
Yes, all the time. Drop me an e-mail, email@example.com and I will be happy to tell you all about it.
- How do you tune the Steel Drums?
With a hammer! This is a very exact science and I do not tune my own drums. Tom Reynolds, www.tropicalhammer.com tunes my pans for me.
- How many instruments do you play?
I started on the Piano and Trombone when I was very young. I own many different Brass instruments (Trumpet, French Horn), but I'm not as skilled on them as I am the Trombone. I started playing Steel Pan in 2000 and I play it more than anything else these days. I just started with the Ululele in 2008 and I love it. If you listen to my CD, "Freshwater Calypso", you will hear Bass Harmonica which I inherited from my late friend and college roommate, Joel Johanson. I can barely play it, but I give it a go. So, what is that...4 good and lots more kind of mediocre.
- What music do you listen to for enjoyment? What's on your Ipod?
There is not much music I do not enjoy listening to. I can go from Stravinsky to George Jones and not even break a sweat. John Coltrane followed by The Monkees is not a problem with me. It's all good. Here is a quick list of some of my favorite artists/composers; The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Vic Mizzy, They Might Be Giants, Frank Zappa, Igor Stravinsky, Paul Simon, Dan Fogelberg, Joni Mitchell, Take Six, Beethoven, Steve Turre, Stevie Wonder, Bernard Hermann, Bob Marley, Ray Charles, Leon McAuliffe, John Coltrane, Curtis Fuller, Burt Bacharach, Captain Beefheart, Carole King, Charles Mingus, Chet Baker, John Fogerty, David Byrne, Steely Dan...I can keep going, but I think you get the picture.
MORE TO COME
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