Cardinal Calypso is Stanford University's steelpan ensemble. Founded in 2005, it may be seen anywhere around the greater Stanford campus, causing wanton happiness and general excitement.

Here, you can find more information about the history, members and repertoire of the group; and the instruments we play and the culture they embody.

Cardinal Calypso will bring an exciting Caribbean mood to your event. Our arrangements cover both traditional calypso music and danceable popular songs, appropriate for classy and informal events alike. Learn more.

Hear us Play!

You can listen to some of our performances on our YouTube channel or check out the videos below!


Kitchener - Pan in A Minor (160kbps mp3, 3:11), Antonio Carlos Jobim - The Girl from Ipanema (160kbps mp3, 3:05), Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (160kbps mp3, 3:00), Harry Belafonte - Jump in the Line (320kbps mp3, 2:29), The Fratellis - Flathead (160kbps mp3, 3:00)

The Group

Cardinal Calypso is Stanford University's premiere steelpan ensemble. We bring the music and culture of Trinidad and Tobago to the greater university community by performing both traditional Caribbean music and popular songs, as well as exuding general enthusiasm for music, dancing, and sunshine. Our members are all students at Stanford, and we arrange all our own songs. We also write original music.

We are organized as a student group under the Stanford University Office of Student Affairs. We were founded in 2005 through a Robert L. Pierce award from the Stanford Alumni Association. Also, we are supported by a grant from the Associated Students of Stanford University and through generous donations to The Stanford Fund. Unlike some collegiate ensembles, we are a relatively young and small student group, but we have great aspirations.

If you are interested in having Cardinal Calypso perform at an event, please visit booking.

Joining Cardinal Calypso

Calypso is a vibrant, fun, and warm-hearted community. From masterclasses with guest artists like Liam Teague, Duvone Stewart, and Andy Narell to performances at Carnaval San Francisco, we participate in exciting opportunities every year. Members of Cardinal Calypso audition with a wide range of musical knowledge, but no prior experience is required. So whether you played steelpan throughout high school or just discovered it today, we’d love to teach you more about the instrument and see you at our next auditions.

Auditions are held at the beginning of every fall quarter. Auditions for the 2023-24 school year are already complete. If you think you should fall outside of this schedule, or if you have any other questions, we encourage you to contact us.

Current Lineup

'23 Jenny Jackson, Stephanie Jackson, Evan Kanji, Annie Nguyen
'24 Hawi Abraham, Jessica Dong, William Doolittle, Erin Floranda, Rebecca-Ann Jattan, Angel Sandoval Castillo, Emmanuelle Williamson
'25 Raisha Abubo, Aanika Atluri, Jean Rachel Bahk, Daniyelle Bennett, Benjamin Foster, Oriana Jackson, Sherlock Langevine, Evan Miksovsky, Jaelen Sobers, Laura Sun, Matthew Vilaysack
'26 Elijah Anderson, Kai Charp, Malaya Gaerlan, Ty Hosien, Erick Ore
'27 Leon Garcia, Henry Kasulka, Johnny Martinez, Olivia Pham, Hugh Sheehan, Sathvika Sitaraman


Marie-Jossee Mont-Reynaud, Chris Fajardo, Doreen Hoang, Lauryn Isford, Amy Kim, Clara McCreery, Amanda McNary, Prithvi Ramakrishnan, Carla Lewis, Paulina Chamely, Eisa Al-Shamma, Gio Jacuzzi, Akwasi Abrefah ('12), Aaron Acosta ('13), Josh Archibald-Seiffer, Alexis Arnold ('11), Chris Balane, Henry Biermann ('14), David Brown, Arielle Craig, Kevin Danna, Mike Demmitt, Nancy Falxa-Raymond, Allison Fink ('12), Adam Genecov ('13), David Germain, Maxine Holland ('11), Sally Hudson, Lucas Johnson ('11), Dana Katz ('12), Binna Kim ('13), Monique King, Liezel Labios, David Miller, Bri Mostoller ('16), Kai Neo ('14), Jonathan Potter ('12), Ben Roth ('11), Jesse Ruder ('12), Emma Sagan ('14), Flip Tanedo, Art Tosborvorn, Will Tucker ('13), Justin Wiguna ('15), Alex Williamson, Cathy Ye, Nate Zwerdling ('11), Alan Propp ('16), Amanda Quay ('16), Leopold Wambersie ('16), Jim Andress ('17), J Evans ('17), Tucker Leavitt ('17), Meghan Shea ('17), Camille Townshend ('17), Zachary Birnholz ('18), Nathan Chael ('18), Elisa Lupin-Jimenez ('18), Kijung Park ('18), Kelsey Reardon ('18), Greyson Assa, Acassia Ferguson, Caroline Young ('19), Carlos Fresnillo ('19), Astrid Casimire ('19), Prasanna Ramakrishnan ('19), Dorian Lumarque ('19), Connor Gunn ('19), John Kustin, Ayoade Balogun, Hank Tian ('20), Tristan Wagner ('20), Cassandra Lin ('20), Jabari Hastings ('21), Mimi Werdegar ('21), Julia Rathmann-Bloch ('21), Coco Sun ('21), Brad Immel ('21), Callum Burgess ('22'), Fatima Karim ('22'), Cam Lincoln ('22'), Jacob Tie-Shue ('22'), Michelle Xing ('22'), Asia Zhang ('22'), Matthew Zheng ('22'), William Golub ('23'), Kiana Hu ('23'), Sairah Hyman ('23'), Steven Kohl ('23'), Cooper Reed ('23'), Lauren Selden ('23')

The Pans

Cardinal Calypso plays the steelpan, the only acoustic instrument to be invented in the twentieth century. Developed in the 1940s on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, it is a pitched percussion instrument constructed from a 55-gallon oil drum. Traditionally, the steelpan is associated with calypso music, the afro-caribbean style which first evolved as a way of spreading news and free speech under corrupt British rule. Cardinal Calypso promotes this rich culture by playing calypso music in addition to other popular songs.

The instruments in our ensemble were purchased from a variety of pan builders including:
Gill's Pan Shop - Curepe, Trinidad
Mannette Instruments - Morgantown, West Virginia
Desmond 'Mappo' Richardson - Trinidad and Tobago
Joe Kelly - San Rafael, California
They are tuned by Joe Kelly.

Get in touch

If you prefer, email us directly: stanfordcalypso at gmail dot com.
Or, find us on Facebook!