Xcel Steel Band
Nigeria - The XCEL Steelband is one of two steelbands in Nigeria. The only other steelband in Nigeria belongs to the army. We are a 22-man band and use single tenor, double tenor, seconds, cello, double guitar and bass pans. We also use the horns such as saxophone, trumpets and trombone to play calypso and our native high-life music. We also have a audio/visual recording studio for our own works. The first, "Pans at Xmas" came out in November.
We have a complete pan factory with modern equipment purchased from Rhythmical steel, Washington, that helps in sinking, smoothening and grooving. We also have a chroming factory capable of chroming all pans including the bass pans.
We are the only private steel orchestra. We plan though, to set up as many more as possible before the end of the year, in schools and churches
by Bowie Sonnie Bowei
When Steel Talks Nigeria Correspondent
BRIEF COMPANY PROFILE
The first appearance of these Steel Instruments in Nigeria was in 1977, when a Steel Band from Trinidad and Tobago came in for the African festival of arts and culture (FESTAC). They manufactured their own instruments at the Nigerian Army Band Corps Head quarters in Lagos, as a result of the bulky nature of the instruments and perha ps the cost of transporting them all the way down.
This became an advantage to Nigeria as the band from Trinidad left these instruments with the Army on their return to Trinidad and Tobago. Because no one could play these instruments the Army sent bandsmen to Trinidad immediately for training on those instruments. Since their return, the Army has been the only organization with a Steel Band in the entire nation.
The frequent requests for the services of the Steel Band as a result of the awareness created by the only existing one, prompted our establishment.
XCEL STEEL BAND was established in February 2001 and registered with the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria. The pan manufacturing, chroming factory and training school is located at Ljanikin, Badagry Express Way, Lagos Nigeria.
As a result of our belief in perfection, our staff went through a complete training on the art of playing Steel Instruments under the expertise of well-trained Steel band musicians in Trinidad and Tobago.
The band now plays all sorts of music including our native Juju, Fuji, Highlife, Gospel, Calypso, Jazz, country, Reggae and Classical.
The band is comprised of twenty-two (22) members (male and female) from various tribes, who are knowledgeable in a wide variety of languages. This gives us the capability of singing in any Nigerian language requested.
The instruments are broken down into three sections:
(a) Steel Instruments - nine (9) players
(b) Percussion (i.e. - Jazz drum, Conga, Omele, Talking drum and Sekere) five (5) players.
(c) Vocalists - three (3)
(d) Wind Instruments (i.e. Trumpets, Trombone and Saxophone) - four (4) players.
by Bowie Sonnie Bowei
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