Skip to main content

Steel Pan Music Enchants Charlestown Residents

August 10, 2015

CATONSVILLE, MD (August 10, 2015) – Steel pan artist John Patti brought his intriguing music to scores of residents of Charlestown retirement community's  continuing care neighborhood Friday, August 7. He came to Charlestown days after he performed the National Anthem at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and he shared interesting facts about this unique, enchanting instrument.

John tapped the mallets and made the pans take on a new life of melodies and styles during his one-hour performance. In addition, he blended Latin percussion and steel drums into various genres to create a refreshing twist on popular hit songs.

He elevated the steel pan from its perceived impression as just an island instrument to one of versatility across many musical genres, according to residents who heard him.  Rock, jazz, blues, country, funk and even classical were rejuvenated when John combined them with the tropical sound.

Originating from Baltimore, John's musical journey started early on as he played his first set of drums at age 3 and continued to learn drums and percussion through elementary and middle school music programs. By age 10, he came across his first set of steel pans and quickly started experimenting with the instrument and teaching himself by ear. By age 11, John was publicly performing across the state of Maryland and into the Mid-Atlantic region for special events.

John initially studied music at West Virginia University before pursuing business at the University of Maryland, where he graduated with two degrees in marketing and logistics. He continued to pursue his musical passion and after graduation, performed across the world on luxury cruise ships where he learned the art of production, entertainment and how to craft a captivating show.

In 2005, John entered the studio to start his first solo album Above the Fold, which was released in 2006 as his first take on island jazz. John's latest releases Cabana Breeze (2010) and A Calyp-Soul Christmas (2012) are classic examples of John's "Island infused jazz and blues" sound.

Many songs from both albums can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio's "Radio Margaritaville".

Throughout his career, John has had the privilege to collaborate, record and share stages with artists such as steel drum masters Robert Greenidge, Ray Holman and Andy Narell, guitar innovator and legend Les Paul, country star Jerry Jeff Walker, Grammy nominated singer Nadirah Shakoor, Michael Utley and CMA finalist for "Instrumentalist of the Year" Doyle Grisham.

In the coming years, John looks to continue his success in expanding his "island infused jazz and blues" sound into theaters, festivals and concert venues across the country and eventually throughout the world.