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THEME Lecture: Shannon Dudley: Bridging Campus and Community Through Participatory Arts

Friday, December 6, 2019 - 3:30pm
Ethnomusicology professor Shannon Dudley (Photo: Steve Korn).

This presentation will review the work of the UW Ethnomusicology program’s Community Artists in Residence over the past decade, focusing especially (though not exclusively) on the methodologies and achievements of “artivists” (arts activists) in the genres of Mexican son jarocho and Puerto Rican bomba.

Shannon Dudley

Shannon Dudley, professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington, holds a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He teaches courses that include music of Latin America and the Caribbean, American popular music, Music and Community, Comparative Musicianship and Analysis, and graduate seminars in Ethnomusicology.  He also directs the UW steeelband.

Dudley has conducted research in Trinidad and Tobago, focusing on the history and music of steelbands. More recent research projects include the music of El Gran Combo, and salsa music in Puerto Rico generally, as well as Latino contributions to American popular music. His theoretical interests include nationalism, transculturation, and participatory music practices.

His publications include Carnival Music in Trinidad (Oxford University Press, 2004), as well as Music From Behind the Bridge (Oxford University Press, 2008), a history of Trinidad steelband music, and numerous other articles on Caribbean music, including and "Judging by the Beat:  Calypso vs. Soca," Ethnomusicology (1996), and “El Gran Combo, Cortijo, and the Musical Geography of Cangrejos/Santurce, Puerto Rico,” Journal of Caribbean Studies (2008). 

Dudley is one of the curators (along with his wife, Marisol Berríos-Miranda, and Michelle Habell-Pallan) for American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music, a bilingual museum exhibit that opened at the Experience Music Project in Seattle in 2008.  American Sabor was exhibited in museums in several U.S. cities, culminating in a 3-month run at the International Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in summer 2011.  He is also guest curator for a smaller version of the exhibit prepared by the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibit Service (SITES), and for their website (, and is currently working on a book manuscript.

In Seattle Dudley performs on steel pan with several local bands, and participates in the Seattle Fandango Project (SFP), a community music group that practices son jarocho.  He has helped to bring visiting artists from Mexico to the University of Washington (including Son de Madera and Laura Rebolloso) and to promote active collaboration between community arts activists and university individuals and programs.

About This Series

THEME: A colloquium of UW faculty and students of Theory, History, Ethnomusicology, and Music Education held on select Friday afternoons in Autumn Quarter.

All sessions are from 3:30 to 5 pm in the Fishbowl Conference Room (Music Room 101).

People Involved: