About Nesta Steel Drum Band

Nesta steel drum band performing for party

Nesta is lead by a husband and wife team - Abby and Dan - who are seasoned, professional musicians; their specialties are steel drums and Caribbean music.

Abby and Dan met in 2002, and realized they had a musical match in each other as well - they started performing together almost immediately. They have played for thousands of different types of events - casual to swanky - yet, they have a special interest to make each one unique and memorable. Their past clients have ranged from enthusiasts, to West Indians, to other well-known professional musicians.

Both Abby and Dan are both passionate about steel pan and Caribbean music, and have studied it intensely, down to its nuances; they have a special fondness for reggae, soca, ska, and calypso. Abby and Dan both attended CalArts (but at different times), which is renowned for its magnificent world music program. Over the years, they have cultivated a great sound together, while continuously striving for excellence on their instruments. They are longstanding, accomplished musicians here in Los Angeles. Their band, Nesta, is composed of a number of other professional Caribbean musicians with whom they love performing.

Please email us at nesta@andproductions.com or call (310) 666-3464

  • Dan Savell steel drums player in Long Beach
  • Dan Savell steel pans player in Los Angeles

Dan Savell has been playing music since the age of four; he began playing steel drums in 1993 while at Fullerton College and immediately took to the instrument. While at Fullerton College, he played with Big Bamboo Steel Band and performed with renowned pan greats Ken Philmore, Robert Greenidge, and Boogsie Sharpe. He began doing solo steel drum performances soon after. In 1996, Dan transferred to California Institute of the Arts in Valencia and studied with percussion maestro John Bergamo. There he studied improvisation with trumpeter Leo Smith and guitarist Larry Koonse. Dan has visited Trinidad twice, performing with Phase II and & Desperadoes steelbands in Panorama, the annual competition that occurs during Carnival. Dan graduated from Cal Arts in 1998 with his Bachelor’s degree in Percussion. Since then he has become a full- time professional steel drum player, performing regularly at private and public events. Because of his expertise, he was hired as the steel drum consultant on the hit NBC TV show, “The Office.” Dan’s article, “Getting Around the Double Seconds” was published in the Percussive Arts Society journal, which addressed the dexterity challenges of the double seconds steel drums. He has also played onscreen roles as a musician in numerous television shows.

  • Abby solo steel drummer in Los Angeles
  • Abby playing solo pan drum in Pasadena

Abby Savell has been playing music since the age of five. As a teenager, she took jazz lessons with Paul Carman (of Frank Zappa’s band). In 2002, after graduating with a Bachelors of Music degree from Chapman, she joined the steel drum band Big Bamboo, playing tenor pan and performing at numerous events. Abby completed her Masters degree in Percussion at CalArts, studying Western percussion with David Johnson, Randy Gloss, and John Bergamo, Latin Percussion with Aaron Serfaty, and improvisation with harpist Susan Allen. Abby loves playing steel pan professionally, having performed at countless private and public functions with her band, Nesta, and as a soloist. She is one of the only (if not, the only) female steel drummer and vocalist in the Los Angeles area. She has worked and performed with steel drum virtuoso Ken Philmore, and visited Trinidad & Tobago (the birthplace of steel drums). She has been a featured percussionist and steel drummer in the West Coast Composer’s concert. And, Abby appeared on the show “Outer Spaces” on HGTV, and played pan in the soundtrack for a nationwide RadioShack commercial.