Christopher Robin Kern

Steel Drum Player, Vibes Player, Marimba Player, Pianist has been performing in the Northwest and throughout the country for over 40 years. Originally from Portland,Oregon, Christopher continues to delight audiences with his unique and brilliant approach to the steel drums also known as steel pans. He has performed with his quartet Island Breeze, Chris Kern Group, Tropical Storm, with guitarist Bret Malmquist and as a soloist. His mastery of the Steel Pans has been lauded by some of the top names in the world of steel pans including Steel Drum inventor and innovator the late Dr. Ellie Mannette who is recognized as the 'Father of the Modern Steel Pan'. Christopher is part of a small group of recognized pioneers in the steel drum community worldwide and continues to push the envelope with this beautiful amazing instrument. Along with traditional Caribbean music, Christopher also performs Latin Jazz, Original Compositions, Classical and New Age Music. He has performed with various orchestras and choirs and recently performed Glenn McClure's 'St Francis in the Americas : A Caribbean Mass' with the Lake Grove Presbyterian Choir. He has recorded with Hamilton Cheifetz and Carol Sindell of the Florestan Trio and performed with members of Nu Shooz, Pink Martini and many others.

A list of former clients include : Nike, Intel, Boeing, Columbia Sportswear, Hewlett Packard, and many others.

Here are just a few comments from friends and associates

“We had an amazing experience hiring Christopher Kern for a party. From start to finish, he handled everything perfectly. The music was fantastic. He plays a great selection of songs and styles. He even took requests! The music set a wonderful mood and vibe for the party. Many danced and everyone had a great time. I recommend him for your next party!”

Shari Altree - September 2018

Portland, Oregon

“Hi Chris, 

“I wanted to say thank you for making such beautiful music at our party. I received so many compliments and people asking me "where did you find these guys, they're great!" I hope you guys will have fantastic luck playing this kind of music in the future.”

Eric Schafer

August 2018


The place was a buzz about you, they LOVED it!  You are awesome!.  We will have to schedule you again.  Thanks again for a wonderful evening!” 

Cyndi Simpson - Avamere Assisted Living  - July 2018

" Dear Nicole I just wanted to thank you so much for letting us know about your husband"s music.  He did a great job and we are still getting complements about him, thank you so much."

Liz Graves - Community Resource Director, Pacific Gardens Alzheimer's Care

June 2018

"Christopher Kern is one of the great players anywhere, an excellent soloist." - Dr.Ellie Mannette - Inventor of the Modern Steel Drum.

"For those of you who do not know, Christopher was my go to entertainer for all of my promotions. Not only a fabulous artist, but a wonderful friend!" -Kris Levesque- Levesque Media Group

"Christopher is one of the best players in the Northwest" - Jim Leyden - Composer, Arranger.

"Christopher and his group Island Breeze were perfect for our tropical promotion! We will use them again and again" - Sarah B. - Events Coordinator, Nordstrom Inc.

"You guys sound great" - Phil Knight, Nike Inc.

June 1993

"We think you are brilliant, Christopher" - John Smith & Valerie Day – Nu Shooz and Nu Shooz Orchestra.

“How do you get up in the morning ?” - John Smith - Nu Shooz

"Unique and lovely!" - Robin Remaily - Composer, Self Appointed Music Critic, and Avid Beach comber, Oregon Coast, April 2007.

"Christopher Kern is one of Portland's best pan players, a monster musician and Portland's finest" - Terry Baber - Musician and Arranger, Brokenslide Music September 2010.

"Chris is the best pan player in town" ---- Denny Melor - Musician, Steel Pan Player, Instrument Builder

“Christopher has a unique understanding of music theory and harmony” - Terry Baber - Musician, Arranger Tropical Storm, Northwest Panman

Christopher has written, recorded, and performed music for numerous projects including the Microsoft video game “Arthur The Aardvark" which sold over a million copies worldwide, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Thriftway Inc, Nike, Intel, and many others.

He has performed on several live television broadcasts including, A.M. Northwest and Good Day Oregon.


Press Clips: (Also See Christopher Kern Eugene OR Register Guard and KUGN Radio)

1996 - JIM SCOTT IN CONCERT WITH THE EUGENE VOCAL ARTS ENSEMBLE “In a benefit concert for the Eugene Education Fund, Composer Jim Scott led a large entourage - his Emerald Valley Band, including the especially talented steel drummer Christopher Kern and the spectacular 22-voice Eugene Vocal Arts Ensemble performing J.S.Bach's Prelude in C Major [known as the Ave Maria prelude]...”-Fred Kraft - Eugene Register Guard

Christopher continues to perform for various events including concerts, weddings, casinos, cruises, nightclubs, corporate events and has conducted steel drum and music workshops in Portland,Seattle and Eugene. Chris teaches steel drums, vibes, marimba, piano and music theory out of his home studio. He is the father of Kathryn who is 27 years old and a recent graduate os the Harvard School of Design. Christopher lives with his wife Nicole near Portland, OR.