Hammer On Steel Presented by the University of Akron Steel Drum Band

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Check out what people are saying about "Hammer on Steel:".

"your dedication and perseverance parallels that of the men and their traditions that are so beautifully laid out in this documentary and the U of Akron students imbued the respect for the history and music not only in their performance, but on their faces - no audience baiting or playing for self-gratification stardom, it was clear they were living the music and all that it imbues" - Michael Udow

"Hammer on Steel" is testament to the power of belief, perseverance, love and respect.
It traces the history and development of University of Akron Steelband(formed by Dr. Larry Snider) while simultaneously paying homage to the birthplace of the steelpan, Trinidad and Tobago, and to its pioneers.  An amazing narrative on strong link formed between two seemingly separate and different countries and cultures.  A must see for any serious aficionado of the steelband..." - Liam Teague

The history and heart of steel drum music and its journey from tropical Trinidad to northeast Ohio is the focus of "Hammer on Steel."  Set in Akron and the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago, both programs feature The University of Akron Steel Drum Band. They are the first documentaries about steel drum music ever shot in high definition.  Documenting the compelling and conflict-torn history of steel drum music, "Hammer on Steel: Bad Boys and Genius."  The second program, "Hammer on Steel: The Concert," captures the UA Steel Drum Bands 30th anniversary concert with Calypso singer Relator and percussionist Andy Narell.

Forged less than 100 years ago in the heated struggle for independence in colonial Trinidad, steel drum music was often the source of tremendous conflict. As quickly as authorities seized and destroyed the hand-hammered pans, Trinidadians rebuilt. Now the music has become a source of community pride, national identity, and economic development.

"We made Hammer on Steel to tell the world about this wonderful music and the self-taught musicians who created it from the beginning many of whom are now elderly and won't be with us much longer," explained Larry Snider, The University of Akron music professor who founded the UA Steel Drum Band in 1980.

"We also wanted to tell the unlikely story of how the Caribbean sounds of the steel drums have also found a home in less-than-tropical Northeast Ohio," said Snider.

Both Hammer on Steel programs were produced by Phil Hoffman, a faculty member in The University of Akron School of Communication and an Emmy award-winning documentary producer for Western Reserve PBS; Matt Dudack, the band's artistic director and a faculty member and graduate of the UA School of Music; Richard Maurer, an audio engineer and graduate of the UA School of Music; and Snider. Tim McCarty directed the concert footage.

Support for the programs was provided by The University of Akron's Office of the President, College of Creative and Professional Arts, School of Music, and School of Communication; The Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust; Radiation Oncology Physicians, LLC; Drs. Mark and Sandy Auburn; and numerous individuals.



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