The Pan‑handlers Steel Drum Band was founded in 2014 by Chops, Inc., originally serving as an alternative performance ensemble for drum corps members interested in furthering their music career without the rigors of marching.  Since then it has grown into a staple of the Twin Cities music scene, regularly performing in “Arts in the Park” concerts as well as at festivals, parties, and other events throughout the 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 even learn it for you.




Meet The Director

Since his early days busking along the boardwalk in his hometown of Duluth, MN, Chris Belich has never lost his passion for the steel drum and the community it inspires.  Moving to the Twin Cities metro in 2015, he quickly joined the Pan-handlers and has continued to perform throughout the area as a steel pan soloist with several groups.  Over the years he’s had the privilege of making multiple trips to Trinidad, the birthplace of the steel pan, where he’s competed with the Silver Stars steel drum band in their national Panorama competition.  Having become director of the Pan-handlers in 2020, Chris has continually sought to bring the same culture, community, and ‘good vibes’ he’s experienced in the Caribbean back home to Minnesota.


Our Instruments

Invented in the early 20th century, the Steel Drum (or Steel Pan) originated as nothing more than a series of notes shaped from the bottom of an old oil barrel. Over the following decades, the instrument has become increasingly refined, eventually coming to produce the sweet, lively sound we know and love today.

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