Hot Pans - Stockholm Steelband

News from the Steel Pan Community

New book by Kim Johnson: The Illustrated Story of Pan, second edition

The Illustrated Story of Pan, Second Edition is the definitive story of Pan – the instrument, the music, the steelbands and their social, cultural and political history, from the earliest days to the present.

Hundreds of photos and pioneers’ verbatim accounts never before published, stories of adventure and discovery, of love and danger, have been threaded along the author’s narrative to produce this monumental epic of musicians and scientists, street fighters and politicians, schoolteachers and their students, promoters and activists, but mostly ordinary people who achieved extraordinary things.

It is the story of Trinidad All Stars and Renegades and Desperadoes and Phase II and Exodus and all the other big steelbands, but also the small bands, Boys Town, Boom Town and Stepyard, the extinct bands, the Tripoli, Bar 20 and Red Army, the "college boy" bands like Dixieland, Dixie Stars, Stromboli and Rogues Regiment, and of course the countless men and women, girls and boys, who created this marvel.

Order the book from:

[Published 22 March 2021]

Stockholm Steelband: The Democratic Approach

Online journal PAN Magazine has published an article about Stockholm Steelband. Read the article at:

[Published 8 November 2020]

Kwame Ture on the Origin of Steel Bands

Excerpt from the book Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) Paperback – Illustrated, February 15, 2005

[Published 31 October 2020]

Steel Pan Orchestra | Virtual Museum Curator Tour

Learn more about the resilient history of the steel pan in this Virtual Visit with Global Musical Instrument Museum curator Daniel Piper.

[Published 9 August 2020, edited 17 August 2020 and 9 September 2020]

What it takes to Build a Mystical Handpan

This video showing the manufacturing and tuning of a handpan/Hang is a bit off topic for the Pan Page, but is shows some interesting tools and techniques that can be of interest to a pan tuner wanting to develop the craft. It contains a bit of discussion of the acoustics of the notes of the handpan and even a sequence where they try to tune a frying pan!

The crafting and tuning is done by numen instruments in Barcelona.

[Published 23 November 2019, updated 5 April 2020]

Book by Anthony Achong: Secrets of the Steelpan: Unlocking the Secrets of the Science, Technology, Tuning of the Steelpan

With ‘Secrets of the Steelpan – Unlocking the Secrets of the Science, Technology, Tuning and Operation of the Steelpan’ Dr. Anthony Achong is presenting a summary of his extensive studies on the steelpan.

Secrets of the Steelpan This is how the publisher Xlibris US describes the book:
This book describes a truly remarkable musical instrument o the Steelpan (Pan) o a melodic percussion instrument that produces tones of immense beauty. This instrument is the National Instrument of the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The concepts, the ideas, the theories, the physics and the mathematics contained in this book are the answers to the question the author asked himself as a little boy peering over the face of a ping pong steelpan, "how does it work?" Revealed, are the subtleties and secrets of the instrument's operation, its laws, its construction and details of its tuning. Contained herein is the information sought by pan musicians, pan makers, panists, pan researchers and pan lovers - nothing is left out. The rigor of the analytical methods of this book matches, in depth and intensity, the expert craftsmanship of the Master Pan Maker and Tuner. There is a unifying force within this book that combines the stick-note impacts to the panist's creativity in his production of musical tones. This book doesn't dodge the difficult questions; it ends with a chapter on the exotic non-musical features of the steelpan.

Read a review of the book by PANArt tuner Felix Rohner.

[Published 11 October 2019]

Oscar Pile - How Steelband Started

Oscar Pile Steelpan Pioneer and Steelband Historian talks about the origins of the steelpan. An excerpt from the film The Rhythm in Steel

[Published 3 October 2019]

The Rhythm in Steel

A full-length film (1h 15 mins) presenting the story of a retired doctor sailing in the West Indies, who discovers the origins of the steel pan. Contains some interesting information regarding the building of pans and their history.

[Published 3 October 2019]

The birth of the steel drum - presented by Kevin Martin at TEDxChesterRiver

Kevin Martin, musician and instructor, has a passion. For years, he has been studying, performing with, composing for, and building the only instrument created in the 20th century: the steel drum. Kevin's talk and performance gives us insight into the social history, the musical potential, and the future of this melodic, percussive instrument.

[Published 21 September 2019]

The E-Pan - electronic steelpan by NAPE

The E-Pan - electronic steelpan by NAPE

The E-Pan is invented and sold by NAPE – New Advanced Product Evolution Inc.

This is how NAPE presents the E-Pan:
The E-Pan name is the abbreviated short form chosen for the electronic steelpan. This novel idea was created using high-tech electronics to advance the invention of the traditional instrument.

Read more about the E-Pan at the NAPE website

[Published 20 September 2019]

Archived news

The index page of the news section contains a listing of previous archived news stories from The Pan Page.