trinidad instrument

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The sound of the Caribbean is the soul of Trinidad

The sound of the Caribbean was born from a 55-gallon oil drum on the island of Trinidad.

With its distinct ring and chime, the steel pan instantly evokes the chill vibes we associate with the Caribbean more generally. Commonly known as the steel drum, it’s estimated that the instrument has migrated to more than 50 countries around the world. But the sound of the steel pan, designated in the 1990s as the national instrument of Trinidad, tells a uniquely Trinidadian story of resilience, ingenuity and enduring community.

It’s a story that’s hard to miss in February in Tunapuna, the steel pan capital of Trinidad, where local ensembles of as many as 3,000 pan players practice for the country’s annual Carnival celebrations. And it all begins with the poetry and craftsmanship that transform the discarded scraps of industry into the stuff of music. Read more

In collaboration with Royal Caribbean