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Posted by Kim Winter, Sunday 12th July, 2015

Our Big Gig 2015

Grafton Yearwood enjoys the music

The forecast rain held off, and with the sound of steel pan reverberating around Windmill Gardens, if we closed our eyes and squinted we could just about imagine we were in the Caribbean. ;-)

Charlotte Aldridge and Owen Llewellyn led a lively ensemble of all ages in renderings of Drunken Sailor, Monkey Man and Clair de Lune, with a mix of steel pan, drums and percussion.

Grafton Yearwood, who made the pans himself, learnt the art from his father. It can take up to a week to make one - marking it out, firing it, cleaning it and then tuning it (the tricky part). Although he uses a machine to determine the exact pitch, he still relies on his ear to assess the quality of the sound.

Grafton says there's a revived interest in steel pan in schools: "It's good for focus and concentration - it's very therapeutic. Some people even use it for meditation."

Huge thanks to Charlotte, Owen, Grafton and the rest of the team for a very enjoyable weekend.