The SF Panhandlers, an internationally acclaimed steel drum band, have been entertaining audiences throughout California since 1987. Under the direction of percussionist Jim Munzenrider, the group has built an impressive repertoire of socas, calypsos, and other styles, including original compositions by the masters of this art form and inventive arrangements of popular pieces.
The Panhandlers are honored to have hosted and worked with many world-renowned artists and composers in the steel drum community, including Ray Holman, Tom Miller, Andy Narell, Jeff Narell, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Liam Teague, and Robbie Greenidge of Jimmy Buffet’s Coral Reefer Band. The Panhandlers twice performed with David Rudder, an internationally known calypso star from Trinidad, in an exhilarating concert experience. In more recent years, the SF Panhandlers have been honored to share the stage on numerous occasions with the 11-time Grammy-winning vocalist of Santana, Tony Lindsay.
The SF Panhandlers have recorded 5 CDs, to date, all of which have been enthusiastically applauded by the steel pan community and the general public. Their recordings feature original compositions by renowned composers, fresh arrangements of classics, and innovative treatments of popular songs. Based in San Mateo, California, the Panhandlers consistently receive accolades on their performances, and the group has become a mainstay at a number of Bay Area events, including the San Francisco Aids Walk and numerous community concert series. In 2002, the group became the “unofficial steel band” of the San Francisco Giants, when they were invited to perform at the Playoffs and World Series at Pacific Bell Park.
This group is one of the unique, truly authentic Trinidadian-style pan bands based in the United States. In the true spirit of a community band, members represent an international, intergenerational performance group, united in a common love for these instruments and the unique arrangements that define this band.