Solo Steel Pannist Chris Arpad radiates a laid-back beach party vibe somewhere between
Margaritaville and Tommy Bahama style. It's a role he's enjoyed for nearly three decades - an ambassador of genuine joy and good times. His infectious steel drum melodies and smooth vocals invoke an easy mood of celebration, perfect for an island state of mind escape.
And who doesn't love a little island get away?
Over the years Chris Arpad and his steel pan artistry has been prominently featured for many notable island theme promotions: with Cayman Islands division of tourism, Air Jamaica Vacation events, and Levi's First Stage performances in 2000 & 2001 for Jimmy Buffett Memorial Day concerts. And the 2006 Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, “Smooth Sounds of Summer” promotion where he opened for bands Foreigner, Hootie & the Blowfish, and Los Lobos concerts. You may have seen his past televised performances for the 40th & 44th annual Miss USA Pageants, or his appearance for the “Art Gallery episode” performance for the TV series “Live Like A Star” – all fun events.
Arpad began his steel pan career in Wichita, Kansas at Wichita State University in 1985, where he formed his first band, Stainless Steel. The group was a regional success at the time, billed as “the Midwest's Only Steel Drum Band”, touring the states of Minnesota, Kentucky, Colorado, Texas, Missouri, and Kansas. Stainless Steel opened concerts and shared stages with such notable acts as Carlos Santana, Andy Narell, Stanley Jordan, comedian Sinbad, Tower of Power, Bonnie Raitt, Head East, Jeff Healey, and Steel Pulse; appearing at the annual South by Southwest, aka “SXSW”, Music and Media Festival held in Austin Texas, in 1990 and 1991.
Chris Arpad is proud to entertain at annual Cancer Survivor events in Riverside, CA, as well as the many special concert events for Convalescent Care and Medical Care Center facilities he has had the opportunity to perform. Music is healing and it shows on faces of all it reaches. Recently Chris shared his performance at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa, CA raising over $60k for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
1. How long is your act? I am flexible, from One Song up to Six hours. I am a solo steel pannist with vocals and custom computerized tracks. I do not offer group performances, (Duo, Trios, etc).
I offer highly specialized solo steel pan performances with vocals. My tracks include midi files and recorded live instruments and backing vocals. The effect is that of a full band.
• Additionally, I offer DJ music for performance extension. In many cases I provide live steel pan
performance to start (cocktails, reception), and then follow with DJ dance music - perfect for
weddings, parties, etc. I tend to stay in the island genre with my DJ sets, however I am not
limited. I have a good selection of contemporary Hawaiian and Reggae music which blends
perfectly with my laidback island party theme. I can alternate between live and recorded music.
I generally do not take breaks and will keep music running for the duration of an event to avoid any
• For Fund Raisers, Silent Auctions, Civic Club Events, etc. I can provide live steel pan
performance and offer audio support with wireless microphone and DJ bumper -filler music for the
event. For example: Raffle drawings, or Awards ceremonies, I monitor the microphone levels for
the announcer and bring up music in between segments, or to fill gaps as people are walking up to
the podium, etc. I become the soundscape for the event, providing a polished professional
• I travel with a custom 5' x 8' trailer to carry my music and sound equipment and a 10' x 10' shade
canopy. The trailer is outfitted with solar powered, 2000 watt sine power inverter which is capable
of powering my show for up to 4 hours. I can provide 4 hours, possibly more, of live steel pan/ dj
entertainment for outdoor events that have no power or shade available: perfect for Parks, or
parking lot BBQ's, fund raising events, birthday parties, civic events, RV camp grounds, etc. as long
as my power cord can reach the trailer.
Sound: I provide my own sound. I have two Bose L1 speaker systems capable of covering 300
people each. Generally I use just one for most events, but in outdoor venues or larger stages I will
run both in stereo. The Bose system provides me with great sound coverage at both low and high
levels. * Note: I specialize in low volume environments.
Lighting: I do not provide special lighting and will work with available light sources. I do provide
some accent lighting in the form of rope light which I use to outline the performance area.
Power requirements: I have never blown a fuse with my setup. One 20amp has always been
adequate. Where appropriate - I can provide my own power via solar power/inverter from my
trailer ( see above )
Staging: I can work with most any flat dry surface; Stages are nice but not mandatory, grass is ok, sand is acceptable in some circumstances inquire with me.