June - Sept, 2018, I will be at
The Bourbon Street Restaurant
40-12 Bell Blvd, Bayside, NY
4-7pm most Fridays
July - Sept, 2018, I will be at
The Farmers Market, Stamford, CT,
12-1:30pm most Sundays
Also, look for me at
Spice Isle Restaurant, Warren, NJ
Fall and Winter 2018
Friday & Saturday 6-10pm
I am Adrian Clarke. I play solo steel drums for wedding cocktails and ceremonies, parties of every kind, bar & bat mitzvahs, graduations, retirements, engagements, showers, farmers' markets, clambakes, parades, senior, corporate, church and school events, and most other occasions. I have been gigging for fifteen years and have a record of professionalism and reliability. I take your business seriously and bring the tropical feel you desire.
I play soca/calypso and reggae music, plus Latin, some pop standards, hymns, spirituals and classical pieces. I've played the biggest catering halls, country clubs and backyards in the tri-state, and small apartments. I make it work. Usually I use the Bose tower speakers, but for very intimate events I use the Bose dock. As you see in the photos, my steel pan is chromed and of the best quality.
I play New York City, Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey. My rates are competitive. I play with tracks so that you can dance or simply tap your feet; occasionally, when requested, I use no tracks at all. Expect me to arrive an hour before your event to find the best place to set up and to give you peace of mind. I'll try to help you find moco jumbies (stilt walkers), Caribbean or limbo dancers, and I'll provide additional musicians (at an additional charge, naturally) if you request them. My aim is always to leave you and your guests smiling.
Same-sex marriage, NJ
A medley of mostly traditional calypsos like "Big Bamboo," "Fire, Fire," "Sly Mongoose". . .
This Bob Marley classic goes well at parties, cocktail hours, and even wedding ceremonies
60's, 70's and 80's ballads done to a slow soca beat -- great dinner music
A Stevie Wonder classic -- 'nough said
This is an old Latin favorite
A classical piece
A medley of five songs by Lord Kitchener, the greatest writer of calypsos for pan
"Waiting in Vain"
Lord Kitchener's "Rain-o-Rama," "Pan in Harmony," "Love in the Cemetery" . . .
"Ol Time Calypso Medley"
Mighty Sparrow's "Jean & Dinah," "The Lizard," "Melda," "Drunk & Disorderly"
"Jamaica Farewell," 4-piece Caribbean band
i use an i-pod and songs on a playlist are played randomly
Kitchener Medley (calypso/soca),
Sparrow Medley (calypso/soca),
Ol Time Calypso Medley (calypso/soca),
Medley Jamaica Farewell/Day-O (calypso),
Three Little Birds (Bob Marley reggae),
Waiting in Vain (Bob Marley reggae),
Wonderful World (reggae),
Can't Help Falling in Love (reggae),
Help Me Make it Through the Night (reggae),
Red, Red Wine (reggae),
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (reggae),
Medley Besame Mucho/Perfidia (Boleros),
Every Breath You Take (pop),
Girl from Ipanema (latin),
La Isla Bonita (pop),
MedleyOver the Rainbow/Wonderful World (pop),
Hey Jude (reggae),
Killing Me Softly (reggae),
How Deep is Your Love (reggae),
Bacchanal Lady (soca/calypso),
All Night Long (pop),
Under the Sea (pop),
Yellow Bird (traditional),
Lovely Day (calypso),
Sugar Bum-Bum (soca),
St. Thomas (soca),
Hello (Lionel Richie reggae),
Help Me Make it Through the Night.
Stir it Up,
Is This Love,
Three Little Birds,
Waiting in Vain,
Can't Help Falling in Love,
Master Blaster Jammin',
Love Medley (ballad),
All of Me (reggae),
Medley Jamaica Farewell/Day-O (calypso),
Ol Time Calypso Medley (calypso),
Medley Besame Mucho/Perfidia (latin),
Feel Like Making Love (ballad),
Girl from Ipanema (latin),
Every Breath You Take (pop),
No, Woman, No Cry (reggae),
O, Sole Mio (ballad),
Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World (pop),
Under the Boardwalk (ballad)
Playlists are generally chosen from the songs below. Please note that songs without tracks are normally played with additional musicians
Ol Time Calypso Medley,
Medley Jamaica Farewell/Day-O,
Ah Hearing Pan,
Crop Over Good Morning,
Hot Hot Hot,
Mile and a Half (Tay-Lay-Lay),
Never on a Sunday,
Pan in A Minor,
Pan in Harmony,
Pump Me Up,
Symphony on the Street,
Songs without tracks usually require additional musicians:
Ah Fraid Pussy,
Fire & Steel,
Hold Onto Your Man,
Law and Order,
Mad Woman Jammin',
Pan NIght and Day,
Rum & Coca-Cola,
Sweet Soca Man,
All of Me,
Can't Help Falling in Love,
Could You Be Loved,
Dance with my Father,
Don't Worry, Be Happy,
Help Me Make It Through the Night,
How Deep is Your Love,
Is This Love,
Killing Me Softly,
No, Woman, No cry,
Over the Rainbow,
Red Red Wine,
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,
Stir It Up,
Tears on My Pillow,
Three Little Birds,
Waiting in Vain,
Girl From Ipanema,
A Thousand Years
A Whole New World
After the Loving
All of Me
All Night Long
Before the Next Teardrop Falls
Betcha By Golly Wow
Can't Help Falling in Love
Dance with my Father
Do You Know (Theme from Mahogany)
Every Breath You Take
Feel Like Making Love to You
Giving You the Best that I've Got
Gone Too Soon
Greatest Love of All
Heal the World
I Just Can't Stop Loving You
Island in the Sun
It's So Amazing (To Be Loved)
Just Called to Say I Love You
Just the Way You Are
La Isla Bonita
Miss You Like Crazy
My Heart Will Go On
New York, New York
O, Sole Mio
On the Wings of Love
One Moment in Time
Ribbon in the Sky
Save the Best for Last
Saving All My Love for You
Stone in Love with You
The Tide is High
Tie a Yellow Ribbon
Under the Boarwalk
Under the Sea
When I Fall in Love
When You Believe
Wind Beneath my Wings
You Make Me Feel Brand New
Barbados National Anthem
Canon in D Major
Here Comes the Bride
His Eye is on the Sparrow
How Great Thou Art
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Jesus Loves Me
Old Rugged Cross
Rock of Ages
Star Spangled Banner
Take My Hand, Precious Lord
You Raise Me Up
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
When You Believe
"Hi, Adrian, you were so great and everyone gave me such nice compliments. . . . Thanks again!!!" CARLIE S., WARREN, NJ, 1/4/19
Adrian was an exceptional musician and took great pride in providing us with the exact type of event we wanted. He was very responsive, on time and a great addition to our yearly holiday party! Hope we can hire him again." Reviewed by NADIA P, LONG ISLAND CITY, NY, 12/13/18
"Adrian was wonderful for our pool party last weekend. He kept everyone entertained for hours and played a mix of new and classic songs. Would highly recommend him for your event!" Reviewed by MICHELE I, PLANDOME, NY, 9/15/18
"Adrian came early to set up and made sure his music was at the right level for our guests. He was very friendly and kept the music going, even in the rain! It was such an authentic island sound. We would highly recommend [him]!" Reviewed by MELISSA R, CENTRAL ISLIP, NY., 9/9/18
"Dear Adrian, thank you for being so easy to work with. You are a true professional and a very pleasant person. Thank you for making our [wedding] day a very special one." CHERYL & MARK, SEA CLIFF, NY, 9/7/18
"Adrian performed at our wedding ceremony and cocktail hour this past weekend at the North Ritz Club in Long Island. His music was amazing. He greeted our caribbean and non-caribbean guests with a caribbean vibe and great music. He played our ceremony perfectly, and he even played Hava Nagila for our Jewish wedding ceremony. All of our guests LOVED his music. Thank you again for a great day!" Reviewed by DAN & SHENILLE S., SYOSSET, NY, 8/19/18
"Dear Adrian, Thank you so much for playing at our wedding. The pan sounded beautiful and you were a joy to work with. Thank you for making our wedding unique and truly special. You truly are very talented. Thanks again, Melanie & Steve." Basking Ridge, NJ, 7/7/18
"Hello, Adrian. Last night was wonderful. Your talent made the event even more memorable." GOGIE P FROM NYC, NY, 6/21/18
"Hi, Adrian. Great job yesterday. What a gentleman and entertainer you are! The [nursing home] residents really enjoyed themselves. Thank you so much." JOSETTE V FROM TARRYTOWN, NY, ON 6/21/18
"Adrian was very professional. He was in contact and answered all questions during the process leading up to the event. He was setup and ready to play exactly at the time we agreed upon. The guests loved the music. Would highly recommend Adrian again!" Reviewed by MARCELLA M FROM BELLPORT, NY, ON 4/29/2018
"Perfect Cocktail hour. Adrian was amazing and set a great mood for our cocktail hour. Highly recommend!!" Reviewed by KATHRYN C FROM WESTBURY, NY, ON 9/8/2017
"Adrian was Amazing. I hired Pan Occasions for a corporate event and could not have had a better experience! Solid communication, punctual, and really great music! Highly recommend!" Reviewed by HENRY F FROM NYC, NY, ON 8/24/2017
"He was prompt accomodating and was perfect for our party. Very professional and I'd hire him again anytime. Steel drum music is my favorite party music." Reviewed by KAREN G FROM BOONTON TWP, NJ ON 8/6/2017
"Brilliant. Easy to work with, had a fantastic sound system, and was a huge hit at our party. Thank you! Will definitely recommend." Review by EM FROM ROCKAWAY BEACH, NY ON 7/30/2017
"Thanks, Adrian. Perfect for our Caribbean party. I hope you liked my jerk chicken." Review by Zachary L. FROM VERONA, NJ, ON 7/29/2017
"Adrian was very professional. Great music selection. My guests loved the music! I was very pleased and will hire him again. I highly recommend him."
Review by Nikisha J. FROM NEW ROCHELLE, NY ON 4/21/2017
"Adrian was so professional to deal with and he did an amazing job handling our requests! Thank you for making our day special! Our guests were so impressed by his talent."
Review by Chelsea S. FROM WESTHAMPTON BEACH, NY ON 9/3/2016
"Great guy would book again!"
Review by Heather C. FROM BROOKLYN, NY ON 7/23/2016
"We received many compliments from our guests on the steel drummer's performance at our wedding. One of our friends is even planning to take up the instrument!"
Review by Titania G. FROM BRONX, NY ON 4/9/2016
"I cannot say enough great things about Adrian. Our wedding was on Fire Island (not an easy venue to get to), and he had no problems figuring out the travel on his own. When it started to pour rain at our ceremony, Adrian made it over to the venue along with everyone else with no issues. THEN when it started to storm and the power went out, causing the DJ music to turn off during the bridal party entrance, he kicked in with the drums and kept the party going!!! All while he was packing up to leave after cocktail hour!! The music was great, he was professional, pleasant, and easygoing. I have no complaints at all!!"
Review by Julie C. FROM KISMET, NY ON 9/12/2015
"Adrian was awesome! Very professional,friendly and talented. Highly recommend..."
Review by John Z. FROM MAHWAH, NJ ON 9/5/2015
"A professional in this business!"
Review by Lynsyd h. FROM BROOKLYN, NY ON 8/22/2015
"Adrian was awesome in every way, professional, flexible, gracious, friendly, kind, and his music was fantastic. The whole experience was perfect. Thank you!"
Review by Terry S. FROM FARMINGDALE, NJ ON 6/12/2015
"Adrian from Pan Occasions was absolutely wonderful. Everyone was raving about how cool it was that we had a steel drum player and how much they enjoyed it. The music was great and I wish we had him there even longer. It was perfect and really made the ceremony and cocktail hour. Couldn't be happier. Thanks Adrian!!" Nicole/Matthew
Review by Nicole C. FROM MILLSTONE, NJ ON 6/7/2014
"Excellent job! Very professional! Will use again if there is a need in the future."
Review by K W. FROM BROOKLYN, NY ON 7/27/2013
Review by Kimberly S. FROM MANORVILLE, NY ON 6/29/2013
"WOW!!! Adrian was fantastic and can't wait to use him in the future for other events!"
Review by Elba G. FROM JERSEY CITY, NJ ON 7/4/2013
"Adrian was polite, professional and the crowd loved him. He was early for setup, started right on time, and played all the music we requested.
I would recommend him highly to anyone looking for a steel drum musician."
Review by Kristy F. FROM PORT JEFFERSON, NY ON 6/8/2013
"Played our wedding cocktail and I'm still hearing people rave about how good it was and what fun! A bunch of people have already asked for Pan Occasions contact info. Great job, on time, professional, just a joy to work with! So thankful I found him!"
Review by Jamie S. FROM PRINCETON, NJ ON 5/18/2013
Q. Are you from the islands?
A. I was born and raised in Barbados and finished secondary school there. I've lived in New York for some time but go home frequently.
Q. How long have you been playing pan?
A. That is a hard one to answer accurately. In college I played a "toy" steel pan in a student band called Caribbean Vibes, but bought a real one in Trinidad years later and started to teach myself. I've always loved the instrument. In New York I've been gigging for approximately fifteen years, at first with other musicians but more than 99% of my gigs are now solo.
Q. If I book you will I get a substitute?
A. No. I personally play all of my events.
Q. How will you dress?
A. For weddings I wear tropical shirt, black trousers and black shoes, and sometimes a blazer or jacket in cooler weather. Other events I will probably wear tropical shirt with khakis and casual brown shoes. Sometimes I wear white dress pants. For very casual events like backyard or pool parties, I might wear dress shorts or jeans.
Q. What time will you arrive?
A. I aim to arrive an hour before an event but am often earlier. Better two hours early than two seconds late for your event.
Q. Do you take breaks?
A. Normally I'll do a maximum of two hours without a break. More than two hours, I take a ten- or fifteen-minute rest break each hour.
Q. What happens during breaks?
A. I play recorded music.
Q. Can you provide other musicians?
A. Yes. Normally I can provide a singer, a bass player, a keyboardist and/or a guitarist--from two pieces to a nine- or ten-piece Caribbean band. Of course, the price differs. Just let me know early, since the musicians are busy.
Q. What's the difference between one and two pannists?
A. Usually the price. With the tracks and the speakers, one steel drummer is more than adequate--and cheaper. Your wish is my command, however.
Q. Do you sing?
A. Only in the shower, but I can provide a singer at an additional cost.
Q. What is your normal rate?
A. Depending on distance and tolls, I charge $250 - $300 for the first hour and $75 for each additional hour. Cocktail hours are usually $300. In NYC I charge an additional $50 for parking if it is not provided. A cocktail hour in Cape May can be $500.
Q. What if I want extra time?
A. It's usually best to book the time you think you will need beforehand. Overtime costs are $100 an hour but overtime may not always be possible.
Q. How far do you travel?
A. I serve the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. I play as far east as the Hamptons, as far south as Atlantic City or Cape May, and I've played in New Haven, CT. Occasionally I do gigs in Pennsylvania and I've played in Boston. Of course, an evening gig of some distance will require a hotel stay and that cost is added.
Q. How much space do you need?
A. Usually 8 - 10 feet of space. I use the Bose tower speakers which are not bulky, but the pan is mic'd and I do need space between the mic and the speakers to avoid feedback. Also, adequate space between the guests and the speakers is best for all.
Q. Will you need shade?
A. Yes. Neither the instrument nor the equipment responds well to the heat of the sun. Shade under a tree, tent or umbrella is much appreciated.
Q. What happens in the case of rain?
A. For parties, etc., I always suggest tents. If the event is a washout, we try to reschedule.
Q. How do I book you?
A. You can book me directly by phone or email.
Q. Do you do contracts?
A. Yes, you give me the details of your event and I provide an agreement for us both to sign.
Q. When is my booking complete?
A. Once I receive the signed agreement and the deposit from you, you're booked--but not before.
Q. Is my deposit refundable?
A. Usually not, because I keep that date and time exclusively for your event and cannot double book. In some cases--if an event is canceled three months before, for example, and I can pursue another lead--I can refund your deposit.
Q. How do you take deposits?
A. Usually by check, cash, or PayPal. I will provide a receipt.
Q. When and how do you expect your balance of payment?
A. Usually cash. If you're the one getting married I usually ask you for a contact person to take care of this and other things at the event. It's usually best to settle the b.o.p when I arrive at the event rather than after I'm done playing.
Q. What kind of music will you play?
A. A normal playlist consists mostly of reggae and calypso/soca, with some Latin and pop standards.
Q. Can I request a song?
A. Certainly, once I know it or have time to learn it and a track is available. Tell me if you want mostly reggae or mostly Calypso/soca at your event, or maybe you want mostly Bob Marley. Perhaps you want a few more Latin songs than the two or three I normally play in a set. I play hundreds of songs, but there may be some I haven't played in years and will need to brush up on. Give me your request two or three months ahead, if possible.
Q. Will you suggest songs for my ceremony?
A. I have done numerous ceremonies and people can be very traditional or just the opposite. You'll need three songs: one for the bridal party, a processional, and a recessional for yourself. Traditionalists like "Here Comes the Bride," "Canon in D Major," "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," and "The Bridal March." Others prefer Bob Marley's "Could You Be Loved," "One Love," or "Is This Love." Some like "Over the Rainbow" or "Wonderful World," reggae or ballad. Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" or Magic's "Rude." Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy." "Can't Help Falling in Love" reggae or ballad. There are endless choices and I will help you.
Q. Will you play music for the guests before the ceremony begins?
A. Yes, I will be set up before the guests are seated for the ceremony and will begin to play once they start to arrive.
Q. Do you always play with accompanying music.
A. Yes, most of the time. For longer events they're better than the pan alone. The music is more lively and danceable.
Q. What if I don't want accompanying tracks?
A. That's your call. I'll use a Bose dock at my back for a guide.
Q. Can the music be heard both inside and out.
A. It depends, but you should suggest the best space (near a door, for example), since the equipment cannot be taken down, moved and set up again in less that fifteen or twenty minutes. Finding the right place to set up is part of the reason I arrive early.
Please note that additional charges apply for distance and tolls. In NYC, add $50 for parking.
(I will play while your guests arrive to be seated.)
Add $75 for each subsequent hour, up to four hours
I request a deposit and a signed agreement to guarantee your date. I have found this best for buyer and seller. Deposits may be cash, personal check, or through PayPal. I countersign the agreement and provide a receipt for you. Balance of payment may be made in cash at the event.