The Seattle Steel Pan Project is the culmination of over 30 years of steel pan educational programming and performance in the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle Steel Pan Project (SSPP) is managed under the administrative direction of Oriana Estrada and the artistic direction of Michael Shantz and promotes steel pan culture through: Public performance, K-12 school based steel pan curriculum, after-school and summer camps, public community classes and workshops, as well as private lessons.
SSPP has a professional performance ensemble featuring some of the most seasoned steel pan performers and musicians in the Pacific North West. Available for hire at festivals, community or corporate events, private parties, weddings and more.
The steel pan also known as steel drum, is the most modern acoustic musical instrument to find its way to the world stage. Originally from the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago, it was ingeniously crafted in the 1940's out of discarded 55 gallon oil drums. Today it can be found thru out the world in ensembles ranging from a few players, or just a soloist, to full orchestras of 100 or more players. Educational programs have proliferated as well, and are found in established music programs from grade school to university level, especially in the US, Europe, Japan and the Caribbean.
Artistic Director: Michael Shantz, a Seattle resident since 1978, has over 30 years of steel pan experience. He has toured and performed extensively through out North America and internationally, made numerous recordings, and has led steel pan workshops and taught classes for all levels of music students during his long career. Over the years he has taught in many public and private schools in Seattle and surrounding areas with student ages ranging from elementary to high school years.
Michael has directed various performance ensembles such as his own group Bakra Bata, Cover Your Ears Youth Steel Pan Ensemble and The Seattle Women's Steel Pan Project, a branch of SSPP focused specifically on giving women and girls the opportunity to learn and perform music.
Administrative Director: Oriana Estrada was born in Nicaragua, but raised in the vibrant central district of Seattle Washington. She has loved music and dance since a young age. She has studied various forms of dance and has performed with groups such as Show Brazil, Johnny Bravo Salsa Dance Co, The African ConeXion project, Bakra Bata and is currently co-director of Tudo Beleza Brazilian Samba Dance Co.
She holds a Master's in Social Work administration and is adjunct faculty at Bellevue College teaching Sociology and Cultural and Ethnic Studies. She is interested in using the arts to promote social justice and create social change. Oriana is the co-founder of the Seattle Women's Steel Pan Project and is very excited about creating opportunities for women in music scenes and spreading the joy and fulfillment she has found in steel pan music.
Principle musician and program assistant Ceda Clemmons has been playing steel pan for over 25 years. Originally from Arkansas, Ceda moved to the Pacific Northwest where she joined the steel pan band Bakra Bata. She has traveled throughout the U.S. Caribbean and South America bringing the joy of steel pan music to audiences and stages large and small. Aside from her role as a principle musician of SSPP, Ceda is the owner and director of a child care program in Seattle WA.