UA Steel Band members in rehearsal
UA Steel Band members in rehearsal

The University of Arizona Steel Band program has a rich history as one of the longest running collegiate programs in the country. Since its inception 29 years ago, the UA has been respected for its steel band programs and efforts to push the boundaries of their performances.

The UA Steel Band will push those boundaries once again in a concert at the Arizona Senior Academy at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday (April 5). The program will contain traditional Trinidadian music as well as original works composed specifically for steel drum ensemble. UA Steel is led by Professor Chris Wabich with the help of graduate assistant Drew Morales.

From Los Angeles, Chris Wabich is known as a versatile and original percussive voice. The variety of artists he works with reflects his diversity as both musician and producer. His drumming is heard with Ludacris, Sting, Leonard Cohen, Stanley Jordan, Brian Johnson (AC/DC), Sheila E., Mark Murphy, the Zappa Family, Larry Koonse, Turkish superstar Omar Faruk, Boogsie Sharpe, Prog Rock legends Kevin Ayers (Soft Machine), Mike Hoffman (Tony Williams Lifetime), Richard Sinclair (Caravan).  A few soundtracks include “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Idol,” “Better Homes and Gardens,” and “Wild California” IMAX.

More recently, Wabich has been arranging and producing projects including Billboard charting hits for Margo Rey/John Oats (of Hall and Oats), Ty Taylor from Vintage Trouble, and the Beatles show, “Both.”

Written by Janet Kerans, Academy Village Volunteer

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UA Steel Band: Pushing Boundaries for 29 Years: April 2016
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