Kevin was invited to give a TEDx talk for TEDx Chester River. He spoke on the topic of the birth of the steel drum and the challenges of working in an art form that originates in a different culture. Kevin's talk was part of the Turning the Tide event held on March 1 at Washington College that sought to address the question, can one person or a handful of people truly make a difference in the world?
Mike has been named a 2014 Agnes Meyer Outstanding Award Winner for his excellent work at Old Mill High School.
Some of you know Mike (aka Sauce, a nickname he earned from his awesome cooking skills) as the lead guitarist/Pan Man extraordinaire from The Geckos/Bermuda Blue. But Mike is a very busy man and he's been doing great things in the steel drum world. Mike is the Music Department Chairperson at Old Mill High School where he teaches guitar and steel drums and runs the Old Mill High School Steel Band. Mike and the Old Mill band have played with Andy Narell and Ray Holman. They perform throughout the area and have even played at the Kennedy Center. The Maryland Gazette wrote a nice article about them that explains why Mike conducts with a cow bell instead of using a traditional baton.
Here they are kicking out Pan Dulce.
Rockcreek Steel Drum School students sure do get around. Here are a few of the places they've played over the years.
In 2002, Kevin was invited to be an artist-in-residence aboard The World, a luxury cruise ship, as it toured the Caribbean. For two weeks, Kevin gave lectures and hands-on demonstrations on the history of the steel drums and how they are constructed. He also performed and gave lessons. The trip took him to St. Martin, Grenada, St. Vincent, Dominica, Martinique, Barbados and Trinidad.
Wow, look how young Kevin looks.
Once in Trinidad, we were lucky enough to find tour guides Bagac and Curtis who showed us around the city and also took us up into the hills. We toured several panyards and visited where Trinidad's annual steel drum competition, Panarama, is held. We also saw some local music and sampled foods from Bagac and Curtis' favorite restaurants, food stands, and pubs. There was plenty of Stag beer had by all.