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Background Information

Mike Riggert-Harris has been playing steel pan and studying Caribbean music for over 20 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 claimants to being the inventor of the steel drum), and is currently studying with 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 Caribbean Cruisers, Mike has performed extensively with several groups over the years including:
  • Steel Away
  • AZZ IZZ
  • Island Magic
  • Mango Mango

Recording credits include:
  • Finding Peaches in the Desert, Pamela Uschuk and Chameleon, WingsPress, 2000.
  • Maiden Voyage, Caribbean Cruisers, 2002.

Mike has received national attention including performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and is also active as a soloist, performing steel pan throughout the Valley of the Sun.

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