Grab your swimsuit, sunglasses and flip flops because Toco Beach Steelpan is all about taking you to the beach. Specializing in tropical music performed with vocals accompanied by steelpans, flute and marimba, Toco Beach evokes listeners' most blissful moments in the sun, caressed by cool tropical breezes with bare feet in turquoise waters.
Steelpans (also known as “steeldrums”) make any event more fun. They’re instruments built from 55-gallon oil drums, originally from the islands of Trinidad & Tobago in the Southern Caribbean. Their sound has been described as “pure sonic happiness” and has a unique power to instantly make the aura around any gathering feel more festive. Toco Beach performs calypso and tropical classics such as Harry Belafonte’s “Shake Sanora,” “Yellowbird” and “Maryanne,” making it perfecting for "luaus" and beach parties, of course; but its joyful music works equally well at events that aren’t specifically branded with a “tropical” theme such as pool parties, cook-outs, receptions and even corporate events. The musical environment Toco Beach creates works anywhere, anytime, and while it’s not dance music per se, it’ll make your soul feel like dancing, if not your feet!
Founded in 2017 and lead on steelpan by Chad Bartell of Madison, Wisconsin, Toco Beach features several of Southern Wisconsin’s finest instrumentalists, including his brother Nick Bartell on steelpans and flute, and either Eric De Los Santos or Tommy Mattioli on marimba (a deep wooden xylophone with African roots). The band performs as either a duo or a trio depending on space and/or budget constraints.
The band brings its own sound system and is also happy to contribute to the aesthetic of any tropical-themed party by bringing appropriate dress and decor such as its own "Tikki Shack" (a large thatched umbrella to play under), flower leis, Hawaiian-style floral print shirts and tongue-in-cheek signage and decorations like fishing nets and an artificial parrot. A few visual flourishes (even tacky ones) go a long way!
So grab a rum runner and come join us on Toco Beach!
Toco Beach Steelpan 2021
Tropical music at its finest, performed with vocals accompanied by steelpans, flute and marimba.