Tom Miller’s vast experience as a performer, composer, arranger and educator of steel drum music has made him one of the most respected and sought after steel drum soloists and clinicians today. Tom has performed worldwide with his own popular steel drum group Pan Ramajay, and other notable jazz and world music artists. Tom has added his unique style of percussive touch to numerous studio recordings covering a variety of musical styles with artists such as Grammy award winners, Allison Krause and the late John Denver. His playing is featured on film scores for the movies, Commando, Nina Takes a Lover, and the Mystic Masseur, as well as ads for Minute Maid, Sony and the popular SIMs computer games. Tom’s composing talents have earned him grants from the prestigious Meet the Composer Foundation five times over and his dedication to musical education has won Tom many invitations as an artist in residence at numerous universities and colleges throughout the U.S.
Alan Mark Lightner generates excitement through his energetic, charismatic, and highly skilled approach to playing and teaching music. His unique style, vast knowledge, and kind hearted spirit have wooed audiences and classrooms around the world. During his studies in the music program at the University of California at Berkeley, Lightner also pursued private instruction from masters in his fields of interest. Those fields were Afro-Carribean music including the art of steel pans and the vast world of Afro-Cuban rhythms and instruments, Afro-Brazilian percussion, West African music, European classical percussion and the Afro-American art form of jazz. After receiving his B.A. in music. Lightner has been a featured guest on ‘The Osgood File’, Charles Osgood’s nationally syndicated radio news program, to discuss Lightner’s success with teaching inner-city students.
Alan Lightner has been equally successful as a performer. He has performed and/or recorded with Will Smith, Mos De, David Rudder, “Boogsie” Sharpe, De La Soul, Ghostface, Rakim, Roy Ayers, Andy Narrell, the Braxton Brothers, Richie Cole and Lenny Williams to name a few. He has appeared in and contributed to the soundtracks of numbers films and television shows such as Ally McBeal, the Drew Carey show, Eli Stone and the Desperate Housewives. Lightner’s compositions can be heard on various commercial jingles and numerous steel band c.d.’s including his own group Pan Ramajay’s three releases. Los Angeles based band, Pan Dulce features Lightner penned tunes exclusively on there self titled release. Alan Lightner now juggles most of his time between composing, arranging and traveling internationally as a performer and clinician.
Jim is the founder of the nationally acclaimed “Panhandlers” Steel Drum Band based in the San Francisco Bay area. The group has 5 CD’s to their credit and have shared the stage numerous times backing up pan luminaries like Ray Holman, Robert Greenidge, Boogsie Sharpe, Andy Narell, Liam Teague, David Rudder and many others. Jim currently serves on the music faculty at the Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA where he teaches steel pan to young students from 1st through 8th grade. As an original member of the group “Pan Ramajay” Jim has performed and taught workshops at colleges, universities and high schools throughout the US in addition to recording 3 CD’s with the group.
Don Prorak’s obsession with steel band started with one tenor pan. Like most obsessions, this quickly got out of hand, and now he owns enough instruments for a full steel orchestra, including two sets of bass pans. Fortunately, most of them live at the Brighton Heritage Academy, where he started the first high school steel band in Colorado, and at Colorado State University where he teaches pan. Double second on player, leader, and arranger for Pan Jumbies, Don owes much to Trinidad, which gave him experience working with the bands Carib Tokyo, Hummingbirds Pan Groove, Phase II Pan Grove, and TLC Skiffle Bunch during Panorama and the Steel Band Music Festival. Most people think Don has a horse trailer because of the Arabian horses he has, but the real reason for the trailer is to move bass pans around. But what would you expect from a man who names his horse “Kaiso”? (In Trinidad Kaiso is the original name for calypso music.)
As a classically trained percussionist, Rick has played for some of Colorado’s finest ensembles including the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, Boulder Symphony, Colorado Choral and the Denver Municipal Band. After college he decided to take up steel pans. Rick studied with Don Prorak and was soon sitting in the Pan Jumbies. Rick’s passion for steel pans drove him to start Rocky Mountain Steel Bands in 2004 to teach and spread steel band music. RMSB now features four bands for kids and adults as well as classes for beginners. Rick has formed two of his own performing ensembles- Strings & Steel and Urban Island.