Trinidad Tripoli Steelband

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Holiday sounds from the Caribbean to warm your toes!

What could be better, just as the weather in Michigan turns ugly, than to celebrate the season tropical-style with the exuberant sounds of the Trinidad Tripoli Steelband? This group, which took its name from the Marine Hymn, goes back to the very beginnings of tuned steel pan music in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad in the 1940s. (The steel pans were originally made from the tops of used oil drums discarded by U.S. military forces.) Based in Ypsilanti and known all over the world, they've had an amazing career that has included opening (as the Esso Trinidad Steelband) for Liberace, performing for Queen Elizabeth, receiving the Golden Medal of Merit from President Ronald Reagan, and winning the "bomb" prize at Trinidad's national Panorama steel band competition, given for best arrangement of a European classical composition for steel band (check out their all-steel pan version of Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance" sometime!). All of which tells you that their occasional holiday show is a very special festivity and a real southeast Michigan institution that everyone should experience at least once.

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