The US Navy Steel Band, 1957-1999
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From 1957 until their disbandment in 1999, the US Navy Steel Band performed over 20,000 concerts worldwide. In 1973, the band officially moved headquarters from Puerto Rico to New Orleans and found the city and annual Mardi Gras tradition an aptmusical and cultural fit. The band brought a significant piece of Caribbean artistic capital-calypso and steelband music-to the American mainstream. Its impact on the growth and development of steelpan music in America is enormous.
Steelpan Ambassadors uncovers the lost history of the US Navy Steel Band and provides an in-depth study of its role in the development of the US military's public relations, its promotion of goodwill, its recruitment efforts after the Korean and VietnamWars, its musical and technological innovations, and its percussive propulsion of the American fascination with Latin and Caribbean music over the past century.