MIKE RIGGERT-HARRIS presents all the various styles of Caribbean music as a masterful performer on the lead steel pan. Also called the tenor pan, Mike uses the unique instrument to entertain his audiences with the HAPPIEST MUSIC ON EARTH. These musical styles include Calypso, Soca, Reggae, and Tropical Jazz. Mike's repertoire includes traditional Caribbean favorites, popular music from Trinidad, jazz set in tropical styles, and popular American tunes arranged in Caribbean musical styles, just like one would hear them in the islands.
Based in metro Phoenix, Arizona, Mike has nearly 30 years experience in the field of Caribbean music. He currently performs as a pan soloist with backing tracks to provide a full-band sound with minimum staging requirements. Mike is available for any size event, party, or social gathering, and is small enough to fit those intimate settings where a full-size band might be inappropriate or too costly. Whether it's just drinks by the pool, a gathering of friends, a reception, corporate event, or a full-scale no-holds-barred celebration, Mike Riggert-Harris has the musical entertainment for you!
Mike has been playing steel pan and studying Caribbean music for nearly 30 years. He is a classically trained musician, having earned Bachelor and Masters degrees in Music Performance, with extensive studies in the music and culture of Trinidad and Tobago. Mike began playing steel pan in Wichita, Kansas as a leader of one of the first U.S. university steel band programs. He has associated with many of the top names in the steel pan industry, having studied briefly with Andy Narell, corresponded with Ellie Mannette (who is one of the inventors of the steel drum), and Dr. Charles Countee, the president of the West Coast region for Pan Trinbago, the leading authority for the development and protection of the steel pan culture
Pursuing a solo career in addition to providing the steel pan sound for the Phoenix-based band The Caribbean Cruisers, Mike has also performed with Capt'n Henry and the RumRunners and performed on keyboards with the country band "350z". Mike has performed with several of the Caribbean's leading musical artists, including Crazy,the calypsonian from Trinidad & Tobago, who is among the top performers of Calypso and Soca music. Mike plays the steel pan on Crazy's 2006 CD, "De Maddest", which features the song "Doctor's Advice",and plays keyboards on Crazy's album "Crazylicious", released in March of 2009.
Mike has performed at many Phoenix resorts including the Chapparal Suites, the Wyndham Buttes, the Arizona Biltmore, The Scottsdale Hilton, The Phoenician, the Pointe Hilton Resorts, the Scottsdale Princess, the J.W. Marriot at Desert Ridge, The Wig Wam, and the Hyatt Regency and Doubletree resorts. Mike has also performed multiple times for cultural and charity events such as the Phoenix Zoofari, Tempe Festival of the Arts, Scottsdale Art Walks, American Cancer Society events, Fountain Hills Arts Festivals, and many other venues throughout Arizona and Nevada.
Recording credits include: Crazylicious, Crazy, 2009; The Maddest, Crazy, Hometown Music HTM728.2 CD, 2006; Maiden Voyage, Caribbean Cruisers, 2002.; Finding Peaches in the Desert, Pamela Uschuk and Chameleon, WingsPress, 2001