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University of Iowa News Release


May 2, 2007

Acclaimed Performer From Trinidad Performs With UI Steel Bands May 5

Ray Holman, an internationally acclaimed steel drum performer from Trinidad, will perform with the University of Iowa PanAmerican Steel Band and Steel Band II for the World Percussion Extravaganza, at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 5, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The UI steel bands perform under the direction of Dan Moore, head of the percussion area at the UI School of Music. Their program will be announced from the stage.

Holman has arranged and recorded with steel bands and artists in the U.S., Canada, Latin American, Japan and Europe, including televised performances with the German National Orchestra. He has been a featured performer in film, television and at venues including Madison Square Garden, the Super Bowl and various jazz festivals.

Holman has won numerous awards, including the Hummingbird Silver Medal of Merit from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and a Pan Legend Award from the New York Folk Arts Institute and the U.S. Congress. He was a resident artist for two years with University of Washington's Ethnomusicology program and has been a guest performer at universities throughout the world. His music demonstrates a lively blend of jazz influences with his own calypso and soca style.

For more information on Homan, visit

The steel pans, or steel drums as they are variously known, are actually 55-gallon oil barrels that have been carefully crafted into tuned musical instruments. Originating on the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, these tuned drums have a remarkable timbre that is immediately recognizable as a Caribbean sound. They characteristically play the infectious Calypso, Soca and Reggae music of the West Indies, as well as Afro-Cuban, American pop and other styles -- even including arrangements of classical music.

Starting as a single volunteer group in 1994, the UI steel band has grown to the point that the percussion area of the UI School of Music now maintains two complete steel bands. The Steel Pan Ensemble is open by audition to any student at the UI. It serves as a training ensemble to the UI Steel Band, which consists of percussion majors in the School of Music and other outstanding percussion students. The UI Steel Band performs throughout Iowa.

Holman's appearance at the UI is sponsored by the School of Music, in conjunction with the Caribbean Diaspora and Atlantic Studies Program and the African Studies Program in UI International Programs.

An internationally known percussionist, composer and teacher, Moore has experience from concert to marching percussion, and from jazz to classical styles. Performing all aspects of percussion, including keyboard percussion, drum set, ethnic, multi-percussion and electronic instruments, he is considered a "total percussionist." He joined the UI music faculty in 1996 as only the second full-time professor of percussion at the UI. For more information see:

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846;