U.S. Navy Steel Band on top of the San Juan, Puerto Rico Hilton; photograph courtesy of Andrew R. Martin

U.S. Navy Steel Band on top of the San Juan, Puerto Rico Hilton (detail); photograph courtesy of Andrew R. Martin

June 5, 2019

6–7:30 p.m.

Williams Research Center
410 Chartres Street

Admission is $10; $5 for THNOC members; and free for Caillot Circle, Jackson Society, Laussat Society, and Bienville Circle members.

Register now!

The story of the U.S. Navy Steel Band, born during the “anxieties and tensions of the impending Cold War,” illustrates how this musical organization grew the popularity of Caribbean music in the United States. Moving from its original headquarters in Puerto Rico to New Orleans, the band became an integral part of not only the local and national music scene. Disbanded in 1999, the group’s story is a guide to how a Caribbean tradition was adapted “to suit an American sensibility.” Under the guidance of Andrew R. Martin, the retired steel drum musicians—many of whom retired in New Orleans—will explore the steel drum as a musical instrument and its repertoire.

This event is presented in conjunction with the exhibition New Orleans Medley: Sounds of the City.