Feel the beat at Bates

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LEWISTON – The Blazing Sun Steel Pan Orchestra at Bates College will play an assortment of Caribbean music, including the steel-pan standards “Jammin’,” by Bob Marley and Kevin Lyttle’s “Turn Me On,” Saturday, Jan. 20.

A student ensemble, directed by Shawn Thwaites, the orchestsra will perform at 7 p.m. in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St.

The public is invited to attend at no cost.

Thwaites learned steel drum from his father, Robert Thwaites, a well-known figure in the steelband world whose credits include time with the Pan Am North Stars, a premier Trinidadian band.

Thwaites has performed with numerous steelbands in the United States and abroad, as well as with such performers as Roberta Flack and Lauryn Hill.

Thwaites and his brother Sherwin were the first two students accepted to the Berklee College of Music whose principal instrument was steel drum. Shawn graduated from Berklee in 2003. He is the founder and director of Pan United Youth Movement, a nonprofit organization in Newark, N.J., that offers comprehensive Caribbean steel drum instruction to young people, as a means of building confidence and leadership skills. He also performs with the Thwaites Trio.

For more information, call 786-6135.

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