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Princeton student Kendall Williams adds steel pan to Bang on a Can

Kendall Williams sees the potential in the steel pan, the bright, resonant, pinging instrument widespread in island music.

In his own compositions that showcase the instrument, Williams looks to Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Philip Glass and Steve Reich, composers associated with grand concert halls and the avant garde instead of the sand and surf.

"I think it needs to reach the point where full steel pan ensembles can play with the L.A. Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic, where you have more than just one steel panist," he says.

Until then, Williams' original works will feature prominently at the 27th annual Bang on a Can Marathon, a free 10-hour event as part of the River to River Festival on Sunday.

Williams, who is studying at Princeton University for a doctorate in composition, began his life as a musician as a four-year-old in Miami, following in the footsteps of his parents who played in a steel band. As he grew, his talent for performing blossomed. Williams joined well-respected groups that played traditional music in Trinidad and Tobago, and he also added arranging tunes and then composing to his skill set.

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Go Kendall keep on pushing

What you are doing is so great, and your ideas are futuristic with Vision  Keep on advancing the variables of this instrument. As you have indicated, do not isolate it, but combine the sound

with other types of instruments.

Thanks for the support and words of encouragement!

Will do, thanks for the kind words!!!


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