Like the instrument she plays, Joy Lapps is a communicator. Her connection to music as an art — to the listener, audience member, and student — is direct and immediate. Welcoming and pleasurable, it engages and entices and finds playfulness and respect all at the same time.

The artistry? Imagine an outstretched hand inviting you to be held by it — to be guided through the unique musical soundscape of the steelpan with few limitations and a liberation of possibilities for spirited expression. It is immediately an adventure.

The indented notes on the steelpan’s surface are deceiving to the eye, almost in a teasingly mysterious way that is instantly welcome to the ear. The sound is a pathway to its cultural heritage. Every note played is unavoidably intended. If you hit the notes, they will sound. Like a voice, it always has something to say. The cultural background, inviting tone, and engaging personality is rich in the instrument’s origin in Trinidad and Tobago, and it’s as true to the people of that nation’s culture.

The music reaches out and finds your ear, soul, and heart. This is what Joy Lapps does, and this is why the match is so perfect. Hand in hand, music to ear, soul and heart. The phrases are the invitation. The invitation is to come closer and be enveloped, beguiled, and guided. Joy Lapps plays steelpan. Pan and Joy play and beguile, and of course they do — beautifully charming and charmed.