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Calypso sounds take over Sachem library

Seitu Solomon, 17, and Amire Solomon, 20, members

Seitu Solomon, 17, and Amire Solomon, 20, members of the Amityville-based steel drum group Steel Impressions, perform Friday at the Sachem Public Library. (Feb. 18, 2011) Credit: Kaitlynn Mannino

The warm rhythms of traditional calypso music at the Sachem Public Library Friday night had many wishing that summertime would come just a bit sooner.

As part of Black History Month the library hosted Steel Impressions, an Amityville-based steel-drum family band composed of O.V. Solomon, the bandleader and father of fellow percussionists Amire, 20, Seitu, 17, and Tunisia, 13. His wife, Angela Agard, said she hasn’t played in years but joked how she acts as a sort of announcer between sets.

Agard said she hoped her husband and children demonstrate “what a family can do.”

Solomon said he taught his children how to play the steel pan “from the time they were able to stand in front of the instruments” as a way of keeping the family together.

“I want to show kids what they can do if they take those music lessons at school,” Agard said. “This is our way of giving back to the community.”

Steel Impressions played traditional calypso tunes, including a version of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff.”

“I don’t see how you can listen to this music and not dance,” Mariah Jones of Holbrook said as she swayed to the band’s rendition of “Kiss the Rain.”

Others, like Talita Gargurevich, 4, weren’t shy about showing off their moves.

“She was dancing on her father’s lap,” said her mother, Minette Gargurevich of Holbrook.

Seitu Solomon brought several audience members to their feet after he played the last movement of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11, the fast-paced “Rondo Alla Turca,” on the tenor pan.

“They did a wonderful job,” said the library’s program director, Anne Marie Tognella. 

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