PULLMAN, Wash. — The Toucans, a popular steel drum band from Seattle, will bring Caribbean rhythms to Washington State University’s Glenn Terrell Mall from noon-1 p.m. July 16.
The band performs its music with a steel drum, also known as pan. The unique instrument is a recycled oil can tuned to produce a chromatic range of notes. Properly played, it can produce just about any type of music.
The Toucans’ band members, whose repertoire includes Afro-Caribbean music as well as popular songs, chose their name after the tropical bird as a pun on their two musical instruments, both made of steel cans.
The band started beating steel drums in high school and has been playing its music in the Northwest for more than 10 years. The group has produced three CDs, including “Steel Drum Buffet,” “Steel Drums: Old and New” and “Toucans … By Request.”
The Toucans’ Web page, www.toucans.net, includes a sample of its music and an educational site where visitors can learn about the actual toucan bird and the origins of the steel drums they play.
The performance of The Toucans on Glenn Terrell Mall is a free event sponsored by Campus Involvement as part of WSU’s summer Music on the Mall series. The band will also play from 5:30-7:30 p.m. the same day at Reaney Park.