When you see CAISO Steeldrum Band play you will notice there is a steel looking drum-like musical instrument being played that gives our band its distinctive sound. It is called the steeldrum (aka steelpan). Our band is lucky to have some of the most talented musicians in the country and that is what makes our sound so sought after.
The steeldrum or steel pan is a musical instrument that originated in Trinidad and Tobago. A person who plays a steelpan is called a "pannist". While now many of them are modernly made, there are still craftsmen that make them the way they were originally fashioned. They are made from 55 gallon oil drums. It produces a unique sound that immediately is identified with Caribbean, beach, and reggae type music.
The steeldrum is not actually a drum but is a part of the idiophone family of instruments. The pan is divided inside into separate pitched notes that are played by being struck by a pair of rubber tipped sticks. The size of the sticks are determined by the class of the pan. Some musicians will play with four sticks, holding two in each hand.