Friday, March 21, 2014

We are springing into action! Join the steel drum fun!

It's been a while since we posted but we are alive and actively promoting our steel drum classes and programs. Here's what's happening:
  • Mondays 4-5pm we have a kids class for ages 10-16. The kids are enjoying playing the latest pop and Caribbean tunes on steel drums, such as Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" and Daft Punk's "Get Lucky". Classes are held at the PanWest Center 10855 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito 94530. At 7pm we have free introductory classes for anyone interested.
  • Tuesdays 6-8pm we have Intermediate and Beginning steel drum classes respectively, in San Rafael. Here we've been in a Brazilian groove these past weeks with tunes like "Brazil", "Black Orpheus", and "Samba de Orfeo". For more information on these classes, call Harry Best at 510 222 1123.
  • Wednesdays 8-9pm we are back at the Panwest Center in El Cerrito with another Intermediate class focusing on some of the same tunes.
  • We just recently launched a Thursday night class at 7pm for professional musicians on other instruments who are interested in exploring steel drums. This class has been a real blast and is growing fast.
  • Saturday mornings 10-11am, we have Pandamentals, fundamental drills for those wanting to get a more in depth understanding of the steel drum apart from just learning tunes.
  • Friday night jams will be returning soon with appearances by local steel drum professionals and students of PanWest. Keep your eye on this blog for dates.
  • Also, we plan to have some Pan in the Park picnics open to all students, their friends and family members, as well as the general public.
  • Even with all he great activities we regret to announce that our landlord at Panwest plans to sell the building in El Cerrito so we may be moving soon. We'll keep you posted.
  • Now is the time to get in and join the fun! Call Harry Best with any questions, at 510 222 1123.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Musicians needed for Advanced steel drum class

We're looking for 5 capable musicians to join our steel drum group in the eastbay. Requires discipline and a willingness to learn. Helps if you read music but not essential. Call Harry at PanWest Caribbean Steelpan Music Center in El Cerrito: 510 222 1123.

PanWest featured in Contra Costa Times

PanWest featured on El Cerrito Patch website


New Digital Pan Sounds available for panKAT

New digital pan sound samples are now available for the panKAT. See link below:

Holiday Pan Jam!

Harry Best and friends will host a special holiday pan concert this Saturday, Dec. 15, 8pm at Soccer4, 2101 Telegraph Ave, Oakland. Come enjoy the holidays with some warm Caribbean steelpan sounds. Admission is free! Harry will have his newly released CD on sale. Also available on, and Call 510 222 1123 for more info.

Free Beginners Pan Classes Every Monday night

We are now offering FREE beginners pan classes every Monday night at 7pm. Just drop in. Our address is 10855 San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito 94530.

Steelpan Package for sale

Former student is selling her pan, case, stand and music stand at a bargain price. Call Harry if you're interested 510 222 1123.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Friday Night Pan Lime!

Come play a tune, listen or just hang out, 8-12midnite. Bring a friend. Beverages on sale. PanWest 10855 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito CA 94530.

PanWest to showcase students at Solano Stroll

PanWest students from San Rafael will showcase their talents at the 38th Annual Solano Avenue Stroll, "Step into the future", Sunday, September 9 between 11am and 1pm. Among those performing will be Glenn Bowland, Linda Fox, Albert DeLima, Maureen Delema, Megan Black, Louise Yost and Margie Wade. The students' set will be followed by Shabang Steel Drum Trio featuring Harry Best, Dexter Bruce and Ed McCarver.
Since 1974, The merchants, restaurants, and professionals, as well as the twin cities of Albany and Berkeley CA, have hosted the Solano Avenue Stroll, the east bay's largest street festival! The Solano Avenue Merchants Association invites you to come and see what makes Solano Avenue such a wonderful place.
Over five hundred vendors, non-profit organizations, food booths and entertainers!
Participants and the event guests visit from everywhere throughout California; as well as neighboring states from Nevada to Maine.
The fun begins at 10 am with the opening of Solano Avenue businesses and Stroll booths and the kick-off is the theme parade with about 100 groups.
After the parade, you can visit one of 50 entertainers, 50 food booths, 150 juried arts and crafters, state of the art mechanical rides, and 150 community non-profit and government organizations, not to mention the unique and popular professional services, restaurants, and shops already here on Solano Avenue.
You will hear the best in local music, dance and other performances and absolutely stunning costumes from all over the globe!
This is a family event! A special area set aside just for kids offers giant slides, carnival games, clowns, jugglers, stilt walkers, face painters, magicians, and maybe even wizards and elves -- come and see for yourselves...
Come join us for an afternoon in the sun.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Duvone Stewart Workshop slated for Sept. 1

Steelpan Workshop with Duvone Stewart is set for Saturday September 1, 10am-3pm, at PanWest CSMC 10855 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito CA 94530. Come and sharpen your improvisational skills and learn how Duvone rips it up on the pan. Call 510 222 1123 for more information.

Help Needed, Save on Registration-Tuition Fees!

Do you have any skills in the following areas? You can save on registration and tuition fees by trading your services at PanWest:
  • e-commerce
  • publicity/PR
  • booking and managment
  • steelpan mallet crafting
Call 510 222 1123

Sunday, August 19, 2012

PanWest Open House a resounding success

We wish to express thanks, first and foremost to God, the I Am presence whose activity we acknowledge in all things and everyone; to
  • the Best family, especially my wife Romaine, our mothers, my sons, my brother and his family, the whole Best clan.; 
  • Claude Gonzalez for landing the building for us and for the numberless conversations on pan.
  • Duvone Stewart for his special appearance and for lighting up the crowd.
  • fellow musicians and students at the different community centers.
  • everyone who turned up to celebrate the Grand Opening and those who intend to join us in activities
All of us who play a pan recognize that we enjoy a truly unique instrument and art form gifted to us through the struggles of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
We feel a sense of fraternity with all others who play the instrument, regardless of what level of proficiency.
 At PanWest, we feel pan is an instrument not just of music but also community. We truly believe that is the purpose of it's emergence. And if you take the time to track it's evolution you will see that everywhere a pan program exists you have the nucleus of a community.
  We also believe that music and the arts is where the answer to our societal woes lies. Because everyone is a creator whether in music or another art form. It's this belief that inspires our mission statement here in this venture:

PanWest is dedicated to enlightening people to their own musical potential. At PanWest we see everyone as a musician whether or not they have ever played a steel drum/pan. We recognize that in each of us is a creative spirit with a unique voice. We believe that for the sake of health that voice needs to be expressed. When that voice is a steel drum/pan, we provide products and support that help that voice come forth.
We are about more than teaching steel drum/pan music. We are about the healing power of music to meet human need for joy. That's why we encourage and support efforts of individuals and groups who work to bring steel drum/pan music to their community. It is our goal to use our mental, physical, and spiritual resources to enrich the lives of our students, teachers, and supporters through steel drum/pan music.
In this way we hope to enlighten you to your own wonderful musical potential and by doing so add harmony to this world.

We invite you to come join our musical community and enjoy a most unique art form that validates you as the creator you are. Bring your children and family members. Make it a family activity. We promise you will gain more benefits and improve the quality of life for you and your family better than any other activity we can think of.
We welcome you and assure you that whether you take our classes or not this will always be a haven for you when you need to enjoy the soothing sounds of pan to relieve the stresses of the day.
Once again, thanks to all of you.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

PanWest CSMC Announcement and FAQs

We are waiving the registration fee for the first 20 students who enroll 
before Aug. 20. See Registration Form below.
Some FAQs
Q: Are pans provided for the class or do students have to bring 
their own?
A: We provide all the pans for the classes but students are welcome to 
bring their own.
Q: Does anyone rent pans(so I could practice and/or have them for class 
if needed)?
A: We don't know of anyone else who rents pans and all our pans will be 
in use at the Center. But if there is enough interest in renting we will 
look into bringing in more pans.
Q: Is a double seconds spot in the class still open?
A: Yes, Double seconds are open.
Q: Will the classes run for a certain # of weeks then finish with a  
performance, or will the class just run open-ended? If a performance, do  
you know that date?
A: The classes will run open-ended and we plan to have quarterly 
performances but no date has been chosen until we know what the full 
enrollment will be.
Q: I'd love to do the Thursday class but couldn't because I already have 
a commitment that night of the week. 
A: For now the classes are set tentatively. If more members in the 
Intermediate class would rather meet on Thursdays or vice versa we would 
consider switching them. 
Q: Is the Adults reading/rhythm class included in the tuition or is that 
a separate fee? Should I do that, too?
A:Right now, the reading/rhythm is offered as part of the tuition and 
is optional, as needed.
The Pandamentals class is also free to all registered students. It's 
intensive and is really aimed at mastering the instrument.
Please send your questions and/or suggestions to
or call 510 222 1123.

Student Name:
Last__________________________ First______________________
Number & Street__________________________________________
City________________State_____ Zip____________________
Day__________________________ Evening________________
Date of Birth:___________
Father's Name (Youth)___________________________
Mother's Name (Youth)___________________________
Previous Study: Instrument/Number of Years:
Registration Fee: $35.00 individual/$50.00 family per year________
Class Tuition: $100/month (10% discount to former students of Harry Best and one referral of their choice; 20% Discount for additional family members)
Make check payable to: PanWest CSMC Amount Enclosed: _____________
(Please circle one)
MC, Visa, Disc,# __________________________
Exp Date: ____________ Zip Code ________________________
Signature: ______________________________________________
Mail Form to: PanWest CSMC 10855 San Pablo Ave. El Cerrito CA 94530