Steel pans (steel drums) are now features of jazz festivals and concerts. Jazz pannists such as Andy Narrell and Rudy Smith perform regularly all over the world.
Most steel pan jazz combos comprise of traditional jazz instruments and a frontline steel pan. However, there are a few festivals where nearly all the instruments are steel pans.
The following are two examples. Both include but are not limited to jazz.
The Trinidad and Tobago SteelPan and Jazz Festival (Formerly Pan Royale)
This festival is hosted by the Queen's Royal College Foundation of Trinidad.
Steel pan workshops are combined with live performances of mainstream, avant-garde and fusion jazz. It features steel pan ensembles of all sizes, traditional jazz combos and vocalists from across the world.
The festival is usually held in October of each year.
Pan Ramajay is an annual festival introduced in 1989 by the Exodus Steel Orchestra (a Trinidadian steelband).
Ramajay is the Trinidadian colloquial term for “showing off” and in a musical context, improvisation. A variety of musical genres from classical to jazz are played, all with healthy doses of improvisation or “ramajaying.”
Competitive and playful interaction between performers and displays of technical virtuosity are key features of performances.
The festival is limited to small steel pan ensembles and soloists. It is usually held each year in the month of May.