Butler, Melvin L.

In 2010-2011, I began my first complete academic year as the Music Department’s Director of Graduate Studies. I also continued to make progress on a book project dealing with the interplay of Jamaican and African American gospel music.  In November 2010, a sample of this research appeared in a new edited volume, Rhythms of the Afro-Atlantic World: Rituals and Remembrances, edited by Ifeoma Nwankwo and Mamadou Diouf (University of Michigan Press). In the fall, I was elected to the Haitian Studies Association’s Board of Directors. My role has included attending the annual Board retreat in Kingston, Jamaica, where the 2011 annual meeting will be held. This past year, I also worked as a saxophonist, performing at the Chicago and Hyde Park Jazz Festivals, as well as in Tokyo, Japan (Blue Note) and New York City (Village Vanguard). In February 2011, my research and performance goals merged as I made an American Embassy-sponsored trip to Haiti to perform in the Port-au-Prince Jazz Festival, while also visiting provincial towns to conduct workshops and observe music making in church settings.

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