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Island Close By


Island Close By is an acoustic steel drum band that originated from the desires of its members to bring the music of the islands to South Carolina. Specializing in the authentic steel band sound, our ensemble performs the lively upbeat rhythms of Soca and Calypso from Trinidad and Tobago, the vibrant and sassy sounds of salsa from Cuba, cool running Reggae from Jamaica, as well as an extended range of tunes that include Latin-Jazz, Buffett, Santana and pop standards.

A Brief History

In 1993, the Island Close By Steel Band was created by a couple of educated drummers that wanted to play traditional and contemporary island music at restaurants and parties. Bryan Stone and Chris Lee performed throughout South Carolina at festivals, restaurants and school events. The duo was very fun, but we wanted to play in a crowd, so we enlisted the help of our mentor, Jim Hall (drum set), and two other fine drummers, Mark Roddy (Mallet Kat/Bass) and Dacey Bell (cello pans). With the new line-up, we expanded our song list, fine tuned our sound and hit the music circuit. In 2002, Stone went on to become the SC Governor's photographer and Andy Akiho joined the band. In 2004, Akiho moved to NYC to make the big time and Billy Sekhon jumped in the line-up. Change brings opportunity! Now, the Island Close By Steel Band can be heard at events, festivals and restaurants all over South Carolina. We invite you to inquire about booking this unique ensemble for your next event.

Island Close By is available for a number of different functions:  Private Parties, Clubs, Hotels, Resorts, Corporate Functions, Fund Raisers, Conventions, Banquets, Restaurants, Festivals, Grand Openings, Community Events, Country Clubs, Cruise Ships, Ski Lodges, Weddings, Rehearsal Dinners, Anniversaries, Bat Mitzvahs, Bar Mitzvahs, Casinos, Movie Soundtracks, TV Soundtracks, Studio Sessions, Holiday Parties, Graduation Parties, Showers, Coffee Shops, Reunions, Proms, Sorority Functions, Birthday Parties, Picnics, Awards Nights

Past Performances:

Za's Pizza

Kaminski House and Museum

Biltmore Forest Estates
(Ashville, NC)

Salty Nut Café

Caribbean Cultural Festival

Sweet Seasons
(Forest Acres)

Verner Awards Banquet


4th of July Festival

International Festival

Back to School Bash

Holiday Market Wine Tasting
(Junior League of Columbia)

Okra Strut

D's On The River

Key West Bar and Grill



Dr. Chris Lee
Double Seconds

Dr. Christopher Lee (BM -University of Maryland • MM and DMA -University of South Carolina) is co-founder of the Island Close By Steel Band. Lee’s professional steel drum career began as a graduate student in 1990 at the University of South Carolina. His love for the pan and music of many cultures has inspired him to study in New York, Trinidad (the home of the steel drum), Puerto Rico and Guinea, West Africa. As a concert percussionist/drummer, he is the principal percussionist of the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed with the Savannah, Augusta, Charlotte, Charleston, Greenville and Atlanta Symphonies as well as The Moody Blues, Ray Charles, Shirley Jones and the Garfield Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. An active clinician/performer for the Pearl Corporation, Avedis Zildjian Co., Innovative Percussion, Evans Drum Heads, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties, he conducts summer workshops clinics/master classes, private lessons and school residencies throughout the Southeastern United States.


Dacey Bell
Cello Pan

Dacey Bell, a native of Barnwell, South Carolina, received his B.M. degree from the University of South Carolina, in Columbia, SC. While attending the University of South Carolina he performed with the USC Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Opera Orchestra, Palmetto Pans Steel Band, Percussion Ensemble, West African Drum and Dance Ensemble and the Carolina Band. He has had the opportunity to perform with national artists such as, Burt Bacharach, Marvin Hamlish, John Pizzarelli, Chris Brubeck, Mark O'Connor, Adawadin Pratt, Leon Bates, The Diamonds, Crystal Gayle and many others. He has previously performed with the Augusta Symphony and the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra and currently performs with the Long Bay Symphony, the Wilmington Symphony and the Palmetto Concert Band.


Mark Roddy

Mark Roddy received his B. M. degree from The University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. and his M. M. E. degree from The University of North Texas in Denton, TX. At USC he was also an original original member of the Palmetto Pans, and while attending UNT he was a member of the GPG Percussion Group, and has performed with such percussion greats as Airto Moreira, Pancho Sanchez, Robert Greenidge, and Steve Gadd. Professional performing experiences include the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra, and the orchestras of Augusta, Charleston, and Irving (TX). He currently spends his days as a computer programmer for the South Carolina Employment Security Commission, and he spends some of his spare time teaching percussion at local high schools.


Jim Hall

Jim Hall is Distinguished Professor
Emeritus of Music and former coordinator of the Percussion program at The University of South Carolina School of Music in Columbia, S.C. He earned his Master of Music Education degree from The University of North Texas where he was a member of the famous One O’Clock Lab Band. Before coming to USC, he was percussion instructor and director of jazz ensembles at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. As a performer, Mr. Hall was principal timpanist with the South Carolina Philharmonic South Carolina Chamber Orchestra, and the Columbia Lyric Opera for twelve years. Widely known for his drum set artistry, Jim has performed with entertainers such as Rich Little, Bob Hope, Barbara Eden, and Red Skelton. He has also performed in concert with such Jazz artists as Marian McPartland, Bill Watrous, Tom Scott, and Billy Eckstine.



What People Are Saying About The Island Close By Steel Band

“Islands Close By Steel Drums was a wonderful addition to our International Fair.  The audience enjoyed their unique sounds.  Chris Lee was professional and timely in all details of planning and execution.”

-Anne Craig, Ex Director
Arts Council of Greenwood County

“The musicians in Island Close By are extremely proficient instrumentalists and talented, artistically expressive, and scholarly professionals. As a liturgical church, our annual need is for sacred music in a Caribbean idiom which also amplifies the Eucharistic Liturgy. Island Close By has consistently employed the highest of professional standards in creating the particular arrangements we need, rehearsing with the choir, and responding to our requests in a timely manner.  It is joy to work with them.”

-English Morris
St. Martin's in the Field Ep. Church

"Island Close By Steel Drum Band is professional, reliable, but most importantly, FUN, FUN, FUN!  Everybody looks forward to their concert.  They are the best!"

-Cindy Pease, Curator of the Kaminski House Museum in Georgetown, South




Conga Line



Jamaican Farewell

Jump In The Line


This Feelin' Nice



Island Close By performs many styles of music, but specializes in music that is distinctive to the Caribbean sound: Calypso, Soca, Salsa, Latin-Jazz. Here is a partial list.

Au Soleil Avec Toi
Bacchanal Lady
Besame Mucho
Both Of Them
Brown Eyed Girl
Brown Skin Girl
Cantaloupe Island
Come Monday
Conga Line
Don't Worry Be Happy
El Montuno
Everything's Alright
Evil Ways
Girl From Ipanema
Hammer Down
Happy Birthday
Holiday Favorites
Hot Hot Hot
Iko Iko
Jamaican Farewell
Jump In The Line
Kiss The Girl
La Samba
Mambo Mindoro
Manha De Carnaval

Mi Cancion
Morning Dance
One Love
One Note Samba
Pan Here To Stay
Pan Flamenco
Pan In A-Minor
Pirate Looks At 40
Queen Of The Bands
Rant And Rave
Redemption Song
Samba De Arcata
Samba El Gato
Soul Sauce
St. Thomas
This Feelin Nice
Three Little Birds
Tijuana Taxi
Tin Tin Deo
Under The Sea
Versos Pra Teresa
Watermelon Man
Yellow Bird

Sample Song List

Band History

Band Members


Audio Samples