CCM's Steel Drum Band, performing at the annual Moveable Feast event; directed by Rusty Burge. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM’s Steel Drum Band Returns to the Stage for ‘A Trip to Trinidad and Back’

CCM's Steel Drum Band takes the stage for its annual spring concert on Jan. 31, 2015.

CCM’s Steel Drum Band takes the stage for its annual spring concert on Jan. 31, 2015.

CCM’s Steel Drum Band will present an evening of the traditional music of Trinidad, along with pop, folk and reggae compositions at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31 in Corbett Auditorium. CCM Professor of Percussion Russell Burge directs.

Audiences will recognize some of the Trinidad standards, which include “Bee’s Melody” by Lord Kitchener, an internationally famous calypsonian from Arima, Trinidad, and “Rant and Rave” by solo artist Christopher “Tambu” Herbert. Herbert was a founding member of the well-known Trinidad and Tobago brass band, Charlie’s Roots.

In addition, the Steel Drum Band will perform several powerful contemporary pieces with a jazz influence, arranged by recent CCM alumnus Doug Sutton (BM Percussion Performance, 2014).

Sutton’s arrangement of “Opus Pocus,” a song by influential American jazz musician and electric bass player Jaco Pastorius, is a track on Pastorius’ self-titled album, which many consider the finest bass album ever recorded. Sutton says, “’Opus Pocus’ will be a challenging piece as it is written in a 13/8 time signature, or as people refer to it more often, an odd meter.” This is perfect for a talented group of percussionists who are masters of rhythmic changes and interesting meters. Sutton also touts that “the piece incorporates a lot of interesting harmonies,” which will be great fun for audiences.

The band will also perform Sutton’s arrangement of “High Noon” from Chris Potter’s album Gratitude, released in 2001. Potter is a critically acclaimed saxophonist who has been called “one of the most studied (and copied) saxophonists on the planet” by DownBeat magazine.

Sutton describes his inspiration for choosing “High Noon” as follows: “The original piece incorporated a steel drum solo, giving me the idea to arrange the whole tune for the steel drum band. It has very difficult moving melody lines and lots of syncopation. It’s a very groovy tune, and Professor Burge will be playing drum set for the performance.” It will be a treat for the audience and performers alike to see the talented professor in action.

CCM’s Steel Drum Band is composed mainly of students from CCM’s percussion department, but also includes a few additional players who have had relevant experience and are interested in participating in the ensemble.

Audiences who enjoyed last year’s Trip to Trinidad concert will love this year’s A Trip to Trinidad and Back, which is sure to be a classic Steel Drum Band performance.

Performance Time
8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31

Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to “A Trip to Trinidad and Back” are $12 general, $6 for non-UC students and UC students FREE with a valid ID.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit


CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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Steel Drum Band Opens CCM’s Spring Semester Concert Series

CCM Steel Drum Band director Russell Burge.

CCM Steel Drum Band director Russell Burge.

CCM provides the perfect cure for your winter doldrums this month with the Steel Drum Band’s annual performance. UC’s Corbett Auditorium will be filled with lively rhythms as the Steel Drum Band transports audience members to the island of Trinidad for one magical evening on Saturday, Jan. 12. Russell Burge directs.

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