Summer is almost here officially and warm breezes are finally (and I do mean FINALLY) blowing in,  just in time for Solstice. The calendar is filling up with a variety of public events for all age groups.


I will be performing tomorrow at Clark Community College in Vancouver, WA for their Spring Luau with Christian Krehbiel and a great young steel drummer on break from his Masters program in Steel Pan.


July is full of diverse events, including July 13th at the Sorrento Hotel for their weekly outdoor block party. Stop by for this free, all ages event!  I’ll also be there in August and September.


If you can get to Hat Island on July 16th (private boat only) I’ll be performing for their summer concert series.  They will have activities to clean up the island all day and I'll be focusing my show on the "Recycalypso" theme, getting people to innovate and be musically creative with the "garbage" they have picked up from the island.


July 17th my steel drum/marimba duo will be performing at the Centralia Jazz festival. This will be an event close to my heart, fusing Jazz and steel drum. Donʼt miss this 1st annual all ages festival, also featuring internationally renowned jazz singer Karrin Allyson!


For the tweens and teens in the family, the Everett Public Library will be featuring me and my Recycalypso program on July 25th. This will be an interactive event, offering an educational opportunity for young folk to learn about the history and culture of the steel drum while also giving them a chance to display their creativity by building their own instruments from recycled materials and then “joining the band” and playing them along with me.


Go to the calendar page at (or paste this link to your browse for times and locations.


As usual, I have prizes to give away!


Bring your recycled instruments down to a show to play and you could win.  I always get people involved and give them lots of other opportunities to win stuff.


Even if you can’t make it to a show, I’m giving away a $10 Starbucks card every month to winners of the Recycalypso Challenge!  All you need to do is apply your creativity to recycled materials around you to create your own musical instrument and then post a video or picture of your instrument.  Full details are at  This is new, so there aren’t many people involved yet and you have an EXCELLENT chance of winning.

I had a marvelous musical adventure last weekend at the Ould Triangle in Greenwood.  We were celebrating one of my longest-running musical collaborators, Miho Takekawa, because she finished her Doctorate degree… in PERCUSSION (here’s where you gasp in disbelief that such a doctorate is even available… : ).  I sometimes go down there for the regular weekly jam session and surprise the audience by playing steel steel drum in bluegrass, European jazz, and Cuban Son jams.  I am certainly the only steel drum player that has ever been to that jam session.  This week however was a huge musicians reunion since it was a party for our friend Miho, and 3 other steel drum players showed up!  Could this be the first steel drum jam session in an Irish bar ever?  The video/sound are terrible, but it proves that it happened!  Maybe big foot and the Loch Ness Monster also exist…

To inspire you with the Recycalypso Challenge, I’d like to share this great clip of Frank Zappa playing several bicycles.  Now this is creative use of sounds found all around!  I think this may have been Zappa’s first television appearance.  Again, terrible audio and video quality, but it is a classic appearance.  He studied at Pomona College where I earned a BA.


I hope to see you this summer!


Keep dancin’


Ian Dobson


CLICK HERE for full schedule

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