Art Music by Caribbean Composers: St. Kitts and Nevis

Christine Gangelhoff, Cathleen LeGrand


Steel pans, arriving from Trinidad in the 1940s, quickly became popular and a wealth of steel bands proliferated (Cramer-Armony & Robinson, 2008). Steel bands became “the musical ensemble of choice for public dances and private parties, concerts and street jamming, displacing the pre-eminence of the horn-based orchestra, the String Band which had always been few in numbers, and the Big Drum” (Armony, n.d., para. 20).

The annual St. Kitts Music Festival, held during the summer, brings international popular and jazz musical artists to Basseterre. On Nevis, a new Performing Arts Center (opened in 2012) provides performance and rehearsal space for a variety of performing artists and, it is hoped, will help “to raise the bar of excellence in the arts” (Washington, 2012, para. 6).


Classical music

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Armony, L. (n.d.). Reflections on the cultural heritage of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Cramer-Armony, J., & Robinson, J. (2008). St. Kitts and Nevis. In M. Kuss (Ed.), Music in Latin America and the Caribbean: An encyclopedic history (pp. 387-416). University of Texas Press.

St Kitts and Nevis. (2010). In The Hutchinson unabridged encyclopedia with atlas and weather guide.

Washington, M. (2012, 27 April). Performing Arts Centre opens its doors this Saturday. The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer.


Copyright (c) 2013 C. Gangelhoff & C. LeGrand