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Calypso and Calypsonians in North America, 1934-1961

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The Guardian’s Farthest-Flung Correspondent?

Posted by Michael Eldridge on May 13, 2013

Ray Funk in the Guardian

Ray Funk (center) at the 2013 T&T Film Festival

Another school year gone—almost.  (The stacks of papers arrive soon, then it’s a weekend of marathon grading.)

In one of my earliest posts to this blog, I lamented the fact that globetrotting musical omnivore Ray Funk had abandoned his long-running Kaiso Newsletter, and I expressed my hope that he’d find another regular forum for news of his latest researches.  (He typically has so many projects going at once that I can’t keep count.)

I’m happy to report that he now has a regular gig with the Trinidad Guardian, where his byline has been appearing in a series of articles co-written with Andrew Martin, author, ethnomusicologist, steelband historian, and Associate Professor at Inver Hills College in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota.

Here’s a profile of Funk by Guardian feature writer David Cuffy, and here’s a selection of recent pieces by Funk and Martin:

As you can see, the pair have a special interest in the NIU Steelband, the first (and arguably the most influential) active steel band formed at an American university.  They’re collaborating with Jeanine Remy on a history of the group, which was founded in 1973.  Keep your flak jacket on and your Moleskine at the ready, Ray!

(P.S.: check out Christopher Laird‘s interview with Funk about his filmic sleuthing, done for Laird’s FLIMS series, now available on Vimeo.)

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