About Us

Rockcreek Steel Drums is one of the largest manufacturers of steel drum musical instruments in the United States. Based in the Annapolis, Maryland, area, we have sold our drums in over 30 countries. We build two lines of hand-built steel drum instruments: the traditional steel drum and the tongue drum.

The detailed work involved in taking raw metal and transforming it into a finished steel drum is staggering, but the result is well worth the work. Being a part of the evolution of this instrument and teaching people to play the steel drum is the focus of Rockcreek Steel Drums.

Through our traveling Steel Drum Experience, our partnership with Young Audiences, and our local Steel Drum School, we have taught over 20,000 people to play the steel drums.

Our band, Bermuda Blue, regularly performs throughout the Eastern Seaboard.

Our Story

It was October 1989. On a typically cold and snowy fall day in Ithaca, New York, a young Kevin Martin, a student at Cornell, discovered a book in the school library. That book was Pete Seeger’s Steel Drums - How To Play Them and Make Them, written in 1964. With this book as their guide, Kevin and his brother Sean built their first steel drum to use in their band Bermuda Blue. After graduating with a degree in International Trade and Finance, Kevin pursued a career in his field, but the steel drum never left his mind. Over the years, he continued to build drums in his spare time. In 1998, Kevin left his job in finance to pursue steel drum building and playing music full time.

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

Kevin launched Rockcreek Steel Drums that year and added the steel drum school a year later. Since then, Rockcreek has stayed on the cutting edge of drum production with the addition of high powered compression hammers and endless research into note layouts and patterns. At the same time, we respect and continue to learn more about the traditional building processes. To that end, Kevin took a tour as Artist-in-Residence aboard The World cruise ship as it sailed to Trinidad where he was able to research the history of the drums and examine the steel drum orchestras and panyards firsthand.

In 2011, Rockcreek partnered with Young Audiences of Maryland to bring the steel drums into classrooms throughout the state through their program that places artists into schools for assemblies, residencies and professional development workshops. In 2012, Kevin was honored as Young Audiences of Maryland's Artist of the Year. Rockcreek has since been added to the roster of Young Audiences of New Jersey/Eastern Pennsylvania. Rockcreek is also on the Artist in Residence Roster of the Maryland State Arts Council.

To see what we've been up to lately, follow us on our news page. 

Below is a little promo we made about five years ago. Some of what we offer has changed, but the spirit and mission of Rockcreek has remained the same.

 

 

 

Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin

Contact Us

info@rockcreeksteeldrums.com