Yuko Asada is a musical instrument technician at Northern Illinois University (NIU) where she directs the NIU Community School of the Arts Steelband and contributes to the daily operations of the NIU Steelband. She also serves as assistant steelband director at Birch Creek Music Performance Center, and steelband director at NIU Percussion Camp. Yuko attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia University (WVU), where she was first introduced to the art of steelpan building and tuning by Dr. Ellie Mannette. She later pursued and earned a Master of Music degree and a Performer’s Certificate in steelpan from NIU, where she gained many years of steelpan building and tuning experience as an apprentice and intern to Trinidadian steelpan builder Dr. Cliff Alexis. Yuko has presented her work at multiple conferences including at the Young Women’s Conference in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at Princeton University and International Conference and Panorama in Trinidad and Tobago. She conducted several workshops at various locations including Japan, Australia and Thailand. In 2009, Yuko co-founded the Pastiche Steel Ensemble, a group of musicians who perform new music for steelpan and advocate for culturally-attuned steelpan education. She also co-founded the Virtual Steelband (virtualsteelband.com) and Pan in Unity (paninunity.com), online performance projects that brought together pannists from around the world. Yuko not only builds, tunes, conducts workshops, and performs, but she also transcribes panorama arrangements, serves as clinician/adjudicator for steelpan festivals and competitions, and composes/arranges for steelbands and chamber groups at all levels. For her many years of work, Yuko was the feature of a Japanese documentary show entitled Gutto Chikyubin (Earth Mail) in 2017 and again in 2020. She was invited to perform her original composition, “Opposite Attraction: 3 Short Pieces for Tenor and Bass Steelpans” at the 2019 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and in 2021 to present a memorial concert for Dr. Alexis. Yuko has a website at yukoasada.com and her works are published by maumaumusic.com and ramajay.com.
Tom Miller’s vast experience as a performing percussionist, steel drummer, composer, arranger and educator has made him one of the most respected and sought after soloists and clinicians today. Tom has performed worldwide with his own popular group Pan Ramajay, with other notable pan artists, Andy Narell, Ray Holman, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, and Othello Molineaux. Tom has also been a featured guest performer at Trinidad and Tobago’s annual “Pan and Jazz Festival,” on several occasions. Other collaborations have produced work with Calypso vocal artist, David Rudder; jazz drummer, Peter Erskine; percussionist, Luis Conte; composer, Vince Mendoza; bassist Michael Manring; woodwind virtuoso, Paul McCandless; Germany’s famed WDR Big Band; the Berkeley Symphony under the direction of Kent Nagano and as a member of the Windham Hill recording group, Montreux. He has added his unique style of percussive touch to numerous recordings covering a variety of musical styles with artists such as Grammy award winners, Allison Krause and the late John Denver, and Venezuelan songstress, Maria Marquez. Tom’s playing has also been featured on film scores for the movies, Commando, Nina Takes a Lover, and The Mystic Masseur, as well as ads for Minute Maid, Sony, the SIMs computer games and many others.
Tom is equally as comfortable in the studio as a producer having produced and mixed several critically acclaimed steel band recordings for his own group, Pan Ramajay, as well as master pannist, Ray Holman, The Chabot Panhandlers Steel Orchestra, the Miami University Steel Band and the Lamont Steel Drum Ensemble. He is the founder of the chamber steel drum ensemble, Pan Nation, a steel drum octet performing original compositions composed by the group’s members and recently releasing their debut EP recording, “Altered Perception.”
Tom’s composing talents have earned him grants from the prestigious Meet the Composer Foundation on five occasions, fostering the creation, performance and education of audiences through his compositions featuring steel drums and percussion. This dedication to musical education has won Tom many invitations as an artist in residence at numerous universities and colleges throughout the U.S. He currently is the director of Steel Drum Ensembles at the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music as well as the founder and director of the Pan Ramajay Summer Steel Drum Festival, in Denver, CO, occurring annually in July. He has also served on the faculty of the JAZZ School in Berkeley, CA, the Mannette Steel Drum Workshop in Morgantown, WV, the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, the Lamont Summer Academy, and the University of Delaware Summer Steel Drum Workshop.
Tom is the founder and president of one of the foremost steel drum music publishing companies, Pan Ramajay Productions (www.ramajay.com), which features Tom’s own compositions and recordings as well as those of other prominent steel drum composers worldwide.
Khan Mc Evans Ted Cordice
Khan M T Cordice (Master of Music - M.M., Bachelor of Arts - B.A.), born in the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, is a Steelpan musician, composer, arranger and educator. Over the years, Khan has attained many accolades in the music world and continues to climb the stairs of success, with great humility. These musical accolades range from solo and large Panorama competitions, to performances with ensembles in the Caribbean, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, the U.S and the UK.
Khan began advanced studies in Music in 2009, at the Creative Arts center at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies, where he pursued a degree in Musical Arts. During his tenure in Trinidad, he was a well-sought after pannist during the island’s Carnival panorama season, and in his second year accomplished the feat of performing with 11 bands for their national panorama competition. In October of 2012, Khan graduated with honors and was the recipient of the Beryl McBurnie, prize for best all round student, and was also the recipient of the Newman Alexander top music student. Music for Khan seems to be the gift that keeps on giving, as he was privileged to receive a graduate assistantship from Northern Illinois University to continue his studies in music in a Masters program headed by Professor Liam Teague and the Legendary Clifford Alexis. In the spring semester of 2013, can was one of six students to receive the University Fellowship awarded to outstanding graduate students across the university.
Khan has been afforded many opportunities to publically showcase his arranging skills which have yielded very positive results. In 2009, at 19 years old, Khan was noticed by many enthusiasts by becoming one of the youngest pan arrangers to win Antigua’s National Panorama, with his arrangement of Swallow’s Party in Space, for the Hells Gate Steel Orchestra. Since 2009, Khan won the National Panorama championship as arranger 6 times with the Hells Gate Steel Orchestra.
Currently, Cordice is Musical Director at C.U.B. Hellsgate Steel Orchestra, an educator a various music related learning institutions and the Director of Culture in Antigua and Barbuda. He has high hopes of aiding in the development of the artform and the youths of Antigua and Barbuda and the world by extension.