Island Time Steel Band
"Island Time" is the time vacuum created by the presence of the ocean. We hope the gentle sounds of the Island Time Steel Band transport you to your own magical place while listening to our groove-centric Steel Melodies.
Steel Drummers Gregg Charest (Double Tenor Steel Pan) and Aaron Cote (Tenor Pan) perform both acoustically, and with recorded bass and percussion background tracks, especially convenient for those on a budget or with tight space requirements. Our Percussionist, Kyle Forsthoff, performs on a wild variety of hand percussion instruments from around the world, including the Congas (Cuba), Pandeiro (Brazil), and his primary job in the band is to serve as our "Engine Room."
The Island Time Steel Band performs many genres, but our sound is heavily inspired by traditional Caribbean Island Music infused with the spirit and rhythm of Soca, and Reggae. Our repertoire includes many traditional Calypso songs, but we specialize in including music from popular artists like Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffet, Lord Kitchener, Drake, Chronixx, Kes, Machel Montano, Harry Styles, Shawn Mendes, Calvin Harris, and many, many more.
We are available for Cocktail Receptions, Backyard Parties, Weddings in/outdoors: Visit Gigmasters to book us today!
GREGG CHAREST // double tenor steel pan
Bandleader Gregg lives on the Island of Jamestown, RI, where he spends time away from his mainland job as an award winning grade 7-12 Band Director, Music teacher, and Conductor. Steel Pan is his obsession, and Gregg enjoys not only playing, but also arranging and writing music for the pans. Gregg performs on a set of hand-made Double Tenor Steel Pans (by Kyle Dunleavey), and custom Carbon Fiber Mallets from Malletman.
Trained as a Classical and Jazz Musician, Gregg has shared the stage as a drummer with Legendary Tonight Show Bandleader Doc Severinsen, The Canadian Brass, Pete Seeger, and performed on Steel Pan and Symphonic Percussion with the Chorus of Westerly, and was a featured Steel Pan Soloist with the Wakefield Concert Band in South Kingstown, RI. His music training includes Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education (University of Rhode Island, and Central Washington University's American Band College, respectively).
AARON ABRAHAMSON COTE // tenor pan
Active as a Percussion Artist, Composer, & Educator, Aaron Abrahamson Cote has experienced our world through music. Touring as a musician took him to over 35 countries and 40 states. He has worked with The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Bobby McFerrin, Glenn Kotche of Wilco, Alex from The Gaslight Anthem, ska legends The Skatalites, Bim Skala Bim, Vic Ruggiero from The Slackers, King Django, Murphy's Law & numerous television and Broadway Actors. As a member of The Copacetics, Cote has appeared on recordings with Dr. Ring Ding (Germany), Agent Jay (NYC) and Victor Rice (Brazil). Cote wrote over 50 tunes in 2013, a record he topped by writing over 100 tunes in 2020. His book, Sea Breeze, was originally released through prestigious Steel Pan publisher HillBridge Music, and re-released alongside Mr. Cote's subsequent collections Chasing Summer, Put It Behind You, The Panoramic View, Dedications, Joyful Noise, and Splash of Sunlight (2022) through Tropical Shores Productions. Many of his tunes have been purchased and performed internationally. Cote is now working on orchestrating some of his works for large steel bands. Mr. Cote obtained his Bachelors from Butler University and his Masters in Music Performance as a Graduate Teacher & New Music resident at the University of Illinois. In addition to his role in The Island Time Steel Band, Cote performs as a freelance musician with various bands throughout the region.
KYLE FORSTHOFF // hand percussion, engine room
Kyle Forsthoff is the Artist/Teacher in Classical Percussion at the University of Rhode Island, where he teaches applied Percussion lessons, directs the Percussion Ensemble, and teaches History of Rock and Introduction to Music courses as part of the University General Education curriculum. Kyle is also an instructor at The Rhody Center for World Music and Dance and has given solo recitals, workshops, and masterclasses throughout the region in addition to performing as a guest with Verdant Vibes and the Boston New Music Initiative. Kyle is the Chapter President of the Rhode Island Percussive Arts Society and is a Percussion Manager for RIMEA.
Kyle is also an active scholar, performer, and teacher of Irish Traditional Music and other frame drum traditions, and has performed and taught throughout the US, Europe, and in Asia. In 2018, Kyle performed at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and his Celtic band Fellswater performed as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. An active member of New England’s Fife & Drum community, Kyle performs with both the Kentish Guards and Grand Republic Fife & Drum Corps, teaches the William Diamond Junior Fife & Drum Corps, and is on the Executive and Archives committees of the Company of Fifers and Drummers.
Kyle has previously held positions at Rhode Island College, the University of Kentucky, Morehead State University, and Capital University. He holds degrees from the University of Kentucky and Arizona State University, and is a member of ASCAP.