Who you choose to play the instrument matters.
Gary Gibson is an internationally known, award-winning steel pannist and composer, well-versed in both Caribbean music styles and Caribbean and Latin-influenced jazz. In his most popular group, "Panduo," he teams up with one of his experienced steel pan partners to provide a compact, low-maintenance, high-quality duo highlighting the steel pans over artfully crafted backing tracks. The size of the group can be from solo (Gary alone with backing tracks) up to six live musicians (all live, without tracks—includes two steel pannists, flute/saxophone, keyboard, bass, drums).
Gary Gibson has been playing steel pan for thirty years, and is a winner of the "Superbowl of Pan," Trinidad's "Panorama National Steel Band Championship" (2004, with the Exodus Steel Orchestra). He has released four critically acclaimed albums of his own original music. Known also as a composer, he has done commissioned works for numerous steel bands, for symphony orchestra with steel band, and choir with steel band. In 2009, won two out of three categories of the 2009 "Symphony & Steel Composition Contest" held in Trindad. He holds a Masters in Music Performance degree, and spent ten years as a music instructor on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle) and Chicago State University (Chicago). He maintains a schedule as a traveling concert artist, appearing as guest soloist with college and university steel bands across the United States.
As important as he has become in the national and international steel pan community, his "bread and butter" is still happily performing with his own groups in the Pacific Northwest United States. Since their inception in 1996, Panduo has performed well over a thousand engagements in the Seattle area, and has traveled as far as Hong Kong, where they performed for the 2000 New Years Millennium Celebration. Everything from corporate events to concerts, weddings to party boat cruises, birthdays to wakes (yes, wakes!), company picnics to backyard barbecues.
Clients over the years have included Microsoft, Boeing, Nordstrom, Costco, Washington State Ferries, QFC, Tully's Coffee, Ikea, Holland America Line, Argosy Cruises, Waterways Cruises, Tommy Bahama, AT&T, Maritime Gig Fest, San Juan Island Yacht Club, Museum of Flight, AAA Washington, The Office of the Mayor (Seattle), U.S. Conference of Mayors, Washington Wine Commission, Getty Images, Emerald Downs, Seattle Parks and Recreation, City of Kent, Federal Way Parks Department, City of Lynnwood, City of Renton, Tukwila Parks & Recreation, City of Shoreline Parks, Richmond Beach Parks & Recreation, Edmonds Arts Council, PONCHO, Boys and Girls Clubs, numerous schools, shopping malls, property management agencies, and hundreds of private clients for weddings and other private events.
The repertoire of Gibson's groups contain a healthy dose of the expected calypso and soca music, but also mixes in the influences of Latin and Brazilian jazz, some Reggae instrumentals, and several well-known pop tunes. There is also more than an hour's-worth of seasonal holiday tunes in the repertoire.
Gibson strives for high quality performances and a pristine, clear presentation, and maintains a very high professional standard for all of his groups. Whether you're throwing a casual house party or a full concert, Gary Gibson's groups will fit the bill. Here are some comments we've received from clients:
"Last night was amazing! I think it was our best dinner so far. I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming out and playing for us! It was a wonderful performance! Everyone loved it and I'm so happy that it got everyone dancing! We will definitely keep you in mind for next year's event." - Holly V.
"Thank you very much for the uplifting and fun performance. Your steel drum music makes everyone smile and puts a little wiggle in their step! As always, it is a delight to work with you and I know people in attendance really enjoyed your music. Panduo's performance is a welcome addition to the event and is one of the things they look forward to every year." - Lesli O.
"Today is my birthday and you have given me the best present I've recieved all day–the gift of hearing truly professional steel drum players. Thank you so much!" - Kathy S.
"Thank you for providing such great music at our Annual Employee Event. Your duo really added just the right touch to the entire event. We look forward to having Panduo entertain us again!" - Angie E.
"You were right! We should have hired you! The group we settled on was late, too loud, and played music that really wasn't what we were looking for. Next time, we'll understand what an extra twenty-five bucks can buy..." - Lorraine N.
"Panduo was such a great item to include and added so much to the party. it created an extremely festive environment! You were so good to work with. Again, thank you!" - Hillary O.
Gary Gibson (lead pan) (Steel pan),
Shannon Dudley (double seconds) OR,
Miho Takekawa (double seconds) OR,
Michael Bento (double seconds) OR,
Michael DiRoberts (double seconds),
Trio and larger adds Richard Warner (flute),
Larger groups add live rhythm section