California, USA - The annual CSULB (California State University, Long Beach) Steel Drum concert Caribbean Extravaganza gives way to a massive steel orchestra on Sunday, April 27 at 2:00 p.m. The concert features the CSULB Steel Drum Orchestra during the first half, and after intermission international steel drum virtuoso Andy Narell joins the orchestra, along with local steelband ensembles including the Rusty Steel Drum Band, Lakewood Steel, and groups from Westminster High School, Campbell Hall, Granada Middle School, and Cabrillo High School. More than one hundred steelpan performers will be on stage.
Under the direction of CSULB faculty percussionist Dave Gerhart, the Massive Band will perform music by Lord Kitchener, Dave Gerhart, Frank Zappa, Bob Marley, CJ Menge and Ray Holman. The second half of the program also includes three original compositions by Andy Narell led by Narell himself. Narell is widely recognized as one of the best steel drum performers in the world, with his first solo album being in 1979. With every album since, he has explored the possibilities and expanded the role of the pan in contemporary music. He has worked with artists as diverse as Chucho Valdes, Bela Flack, Willie Colon, Flora Purim and Airto, the Metropole Orchestra (Holland), Tito Puente and many more. He has performed on movie scores by James Horner, Maurice Jarre, Elmer Bernstein, Hans Zimmer, Michel Colombier, and Thomas Newman. As a bandleader he has played hundreds of concerts and jazz festivals throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan, the Caribbean, South America and South Africa.
In 1999, Narell became the first foreigner to compose for the Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama steelband competition, guiding the 100-player Skiffle Bunch Steel Orchestra to the finals of both the 1999 and 2000 Panoramas. In 2007 he collaborated with Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra for a concert of his steelband music at the Trinidad and Tobago Steelpan and Jazz Festival. Narell grew up in Queens, New York, and moved to California in his teens. He studied music at UC Berkeley and now lives in Paris, France, where he runs Calypsociation – a steel drum school.
“Massive Band 2014 is an opportunity for local steel drummers to come together to celebrate the national instrument of Trinidad [& Tobago]” Gerhart said. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students to perform in a 100-piece-steel drum ensemble and share the stage with Andy Narell.”
The Massive Band concert takes place at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the campus of Long Beach State University. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students, seniors and those with CSULB ID. Call for tickets at 1 (562) 985-7000, visit the Arts Tickets Office online at www.carpenterarts.org - or contact Bethany Price: 1 (562) 225-8177, firstname.lastname@example.org