The Pan‑handlers are a versatile 3–18 piece steel drum band based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Pan‑handlers steel drum band was founded by Chops, Inc. Drum and Bugle Corps, serving as an alternative performance ensemble for those members interested in keeping their musical hobby going without the rigors of marching.

You might see The Pan‑handlers at the same parades you usually see Chopstix Percussion, Top Chops Brass, and Hot Chops Color Guard. You’ll also find us at festivals, parties, and other events at any time of year.

The Pan‑handlers can play as a steel drum duet or trio with a recorded rhythm section, as a full 18 piece steel drum band with a live rhythm section, or any combination of instrumentation in between, making appearances possible for virtually any event or venue. Our song list continues to grow, including everything from The Beatles to Bob Marley, from traditional to modern. If there’s a particular song or two that you’d like at your event, we can learn it for you.

Some examples from our usual setlist are:

Amber | 311    • Bee’s Melody | Lord Kitchener    • Birthday Party | Len “Boogsie” Sharpe

Both of Them | Mighty Sparrow    • Brown Eyed Girl | Van Morrison    • Call Me Maybe | Carly Rae Jepsen

Cantina Band | John Williams    • Free Bird | Lynyrd Skynyrd    Grenade | Bruno Mars

Gyal Owner | Dexter Stewart (Blaxx)    • Hard Times | Len “Boogsie” Sharpe    • Here Comes The Sun | The Beatles

Hot Hot Hot | Arrow    • I’m Yours | Jason Mraz    • Jamaica Farewell | Harry Belafonte

Jammin’ | Bob Marley    • Late In The Evening | Paul Simon    • Limbo Rock | Chubby Checker

Me & Julio | Simon & Garfunkel    • Moondance | Van Morrison    • My Band | Ray Holman

Natural Mystic | Bob Marley    • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da | The Beatles    • Rant and Rave | Christopher “Tambu” Herbert

Royals | Lorde    • Take Five | Paul Desmond/Dave Brubeck    • Take On Me | A-ha

Three Little Birds | Bob Marley    • Tio Macaco | Snarky Puppy    • Trinidad Blue Basin | Traditional

Under the Sea | Menken/Ashman    • Yellow Bird | Traditional


Ask about adding a specific song for your event!


The instruments used by The Pan‑handlers are Trinidadian steel drums, a relatively new instrument, which originated as nothing more than a series of notes shaped from the bottom of an old oil barrel! The steel drums, or pans, that we use today are of much higher quality than the typical oil barrel used to allow.

All of our pans are meticulously hand-crafted by master tuner and builder Steve Lawrie. Learn more about Steve and the beautiful instruments he creates at his page