Press Mentions

Building the Beat: Kevin Martin Combines Science with Art Form
Characters: People and Sheet Metal
-Trumpf Express: Magazine for Sheet Metal Processing in North America, December 2013
"When possible, Kevin brings the 18 gauge steel barrels to his workshop to test the sound. 'Creating the instrument is a balance of strength and flexibility,' he explains. After selecting the barrel, he beats the bottom to a bowl shape with a sledge or compression hammers with varying tips."
"Ellie Mannett is know as the father of the modern steel drum for his work developing the layouts of the instrument, but Kevin notes, 'Its final pattern has yet to be arranged. It's a young instrument, and so an exciting time as a builder.' When asked what he loves most, Kevin replied, 'I love developing the final form of the drum, but also teaching and playing with my band, The Geckos [and Bermuda Blue]. I love all of it.'"

Bates Middle School Arts Event
-The Capital, May 12, 2009
"Sixth-grader Hakeem Ormond learns to play the steel drums at a multicultural heritage and arts event held last month at Bates Middle School in Annapolis. Kevin Martin, owner of Rockcreek Steel Drums, taught the class at the event, which also featured hands-on art activities, international food and displays of projects that focused on different countries."
Steel Drum Experience Comes to Buck Lodge Middle School
Education Insight, Prince George’s County Schools, December 5, 2008
“On Friday, November 7, Instrumental Music students from Buck Lodge MS took part in a once-in-a-lifetime event. Kevin Martin, the owner of Rockcreek Steel Drums in Annapolis brought 52 steel drums to Buck Lodge and taught the Instrumental Music students how to play.”
Drums of Steel; Instrument is easy to learn, opens students to new culture
-Jen Waters, The Washington Times, June 4, 2007
“'Anyone can learn to play the steel drums,' says Kevin Martin, owner of Rockcreek Steel Drums in Arnold, Md. 'It’s an easy instrument to pick up,' Kevin says. 'I love Caribbean music and world music. I thought it would be fun to learn.'"
Seduced by a summer siren
Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2006
“About 25 years ago, Kevin Martin, then a guitar-happy high school freshman, walked into the Ocean Pines Yacht Club in Ocean Pines, Md., with his parents and had what one might call an aural epiphany. A couple of steel drummers were playing Caribbean music, and he’d never heard anything so sweet.”
“He went on to earn a business degree from Cornell University, then worked a few years for his father’s financial planning firm but eventually surrendered to the ‘pan,’ as the steel drum is colloquially known in its native Trinidad. Martin, now 38, plays in several pan bands and runs his Rockcreek Steel Drum School in Maryland. He’s also that rare off-islander who has mastered the craft of building (and selling) pans.”
Beating Music out of Metal
-Tom Dunkel, The Baltimore Sun, July 13, 2006
"Kevin Martin feels heavenly as he watches rehearsal. Nice cross section of player: college student, beer truck driver, nurse, cop. 'They're all hanging out together on their night off,' he says. 'You'll see that in Trinidad too, in the pan yards.'"

Drumming up Business with the Local College
-Patrick Skinner, The Examiner, April 25, 2006
"A partnership between Anne Arundel Community College and Rockcreek Steel Drums teaches steel drum music to those who don't have the time for weekend trips to the Caribbean."
Drums of Steel: 'Happy music' delights steel drum students
-Theresa Winslow, The Capital, May 25, 2003
"’It's such happy music,' said Pam Eaton of Annapolis, who designs kitchens.’It doesn't matter how bad your day is, when I get in here (I feel good). It seems more like we get together to jam, rather than to practice.'" "The 10 men and women from a variety of backgrounds just grooved to the beat. With brightly colored parrots strapped to the sides of their drums, they swayed back and forth as they played, smiling the entire time."
[Archived articles from The Capital may be downloaded for free through Maryland libraries.]
101 Ways to Have Fun on the Bay: #41 Bang a Steel Drum
-Bay Weekly's 2003 Summer Guide
" Here’s your chance to kick off your shoes and fish that straw hat out of the closet. There are Maryland panyards where people like you are making music together and having a good time. Some own their own drums and have cruised the Caribbean several times; others have never played an instrument and have no idea where the steel drums (also known as steel pans) come from. The players come in all ages and backgrounds but have at least one thing in common: They love the sound of those drums." "Locally, adults can take daytime or evening lessons year-round at Rockcreek Steel Drum School."
Chesapeake Panyard: Kevin Martin's Steel Drum Universe is 2000 Miles from Trinidad
-Spin Sheet, February 2002
"Kevin Martin is an unlikely steel drum player, an even unlikelier steel drum builder, and a wholly improbable steel drum disciple...He doesn't look like someone who would be hanging around after a steel drum show, asking the Trinidadians lots of questions and measuring the surface of a legend's drum and then writing the results into an old school notebook. But that's the beauty of the story. It shouldn't work, but it does."
Sending a different beat: Steel drum maker seeks a soothing sound
-Jessica R. Towhey, The Capital, April 2, 2002
“More than a decade after that first try, Mr. Martin, 34, of Arnold, has launched a steel drum-making business that he hopes will infuse the area with the soothing yet foot-tapping Caribbean percussion sound.” “Building a steel drum, however, is easier said than done, as he soon found out. After many trials and plenty of errors, though…Mr. Martin has become one of only about 50 steel drum makers in the country.”
[Archived articles from The Capital may be downloaded for free through Maryland libraries.]
Kevin Martin: This Annapolis Musician Beats a Different Kind of Drum
-Matthew Thomas Pugh, Bay Weekly, January 25-31, 2001
“Today, after a decade of trial and error, blood, sweat, burns and a session at the University Tuning Project Steel Drum camp in West Virginia, Martin is fine-tuning the science of steel drum construction. He describes the building process as a ‘three-dimensional, mathematical Rubik’s Cube that is translated into the physical.’ While manipulating his cube, Martin has taught himself Music Theory, Geometry, and Metal Shop 101. Nowadays, he’s streamlined the trial-and-error method he and his brother pioneered.”

Looking for more information?