Who we are
Derrick Okubo, Steel Pan. Derrick studied steel pan under the direction of Jeff Narell in the late 1980s. He founded The Jump Up Steelband in 1991 and has led the group through numerous personnel changes ever since. From 1989 through 1995, Derrick was the Resident Composer for San Francisco's Asian American Theater Company and also composed scores for other Bay Area theater companies such as Marin Theatre Company, Encore Theatre and Talespinners.
Chris Planas, Guitar. Chris was a founding member of Hawaii's world beat favorites Pagan Babies. The band enjoyed a 12-year residence at Anna Bannana's and a regular mention in Fodor's. In addition to The Jump Up Steelband, Chris can be seen with the groups Blues Logic, LauraLee Brown and Company, Little Brown Brother and Oriente.
Albert Ramirez, Bass. Albert studied macrobiotics with Michio Kushi, a pioneer in the field. He is a long-time member of The Jump Up Steelband and can also be seen with the Manny Loera Trio and Portugese singer, Ramana Vieira.
Phil Thompson, Drums. Phil has performed with many Bay Area jazz and Latin-jazz artists, including Pete Escovedo and Ray Obiedo. He currently leads his own Brazilian-jazz group, The Rio Thing.