Caribbean Music Performance Workshop Offered at WFU

Gage Averill, a noted scholar of Caribbean music and society, will lead a performance workshop on the music of the Caribbean islands on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Scales Fine Arts Center, A102.

Averill’s lecture/workshop, “Secular Musics of the Caribbean,” will combine hands-on musical performance with a discussion of the origins and socio-cultural contexts in which Caribbean musical traditions developed. He will look at the historical and political circumstances under which these multicultural musical forms have evolved.

“In the Caribbean, the music reflects the meeting and blending of different cultures, classes, nationalities and political persuasions,” according to Mary Jane Berman, director of the Museum of Anthropology. “Music is often used as a means of creating national identities in response to local and global events.”

Averill, a New York University ethnomusicologist, will cover Cuban rumba, mambo and salsa; French Antillean zouk; Trinidadian calypso and reggae; Puerto Rican plena; Haitian ra ra and compas and Dominican merengue.

Averill has authored numerous books, book chapters and popular articles. Among his books are “A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti.” He holds a doctorate in ethnomusicology from the University of Washington. His interests and expertise include other forms of music such as barbershop quartets, the subject of his latest book, “Four Parts, No Waiting: Social History of American Barbershop Harmony Singing.”

The workshop is offered in conjunction with the exhibit, “RE-NEWING: Recycling in a Shrinking World,” which runs through March 20 in the anthropology museum.

To register, call the museum at 336-758-5282. The free event is part of the Year of Globalization and Diversity, a yearlong series of activities focused on the world’s development into a more global community. To learn more about the year, call 336-758-5788 or visit The workshop is co-sponsored by the Wake Forest music department and Office of Multicultural Affairs. The Museum of Anthropology is located behind Kentner Stadium on the university campus.

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