When Steel Talks

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The Story of Steelbands and the Steelband Art Form in Aruba - UpClose!

They started making their steel pans from oil drums collected from the Lago Oil Refinery. The barrels were formed by hammering the bottoms with a sledge hammer until they had the right shape and tone.

The group increasingly started to play variants of the samba, rumba and other popular music on their home-made instruments. As their rhythm and appearance became more common, and popularity grew, more and more musicians joined. Some of the steel bands grew to over forty musicians.

In 1951 a steelband from Trinidad arrived, exposing the steelpan scene to men like Naldo Brown, Edgar Connor, Dennis Jones and others.

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