The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Fela Matters: A Conversation about the King of Afrobeat

Apr 23, 2021 03:30 PM. Advance registration requested.


Stephanie Shonekan (PANELIST) is Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Science and Professor of Music at the University of Missouri. In 2003, she earned a PhD in Ethnomusicology and Folklore with a minor in African American Studies from Indiana University. Shonekan’s dual heritage combining West Africa with the West Indies allows her to straddle the black world comfortably. Her books include The Life of Camilla Williams, African American Classical Singer and Opera Diva (2011), Soul, Country, and the USA: Race and Identity in American Music Culture (2015), Black Lives Matter & Music (2018), and Black Resistance in the Americas (2018).

Michael Veal (PANELIST) is the Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Music and African-American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Fela: The Life & Times of an African Musical Icon (2000), Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs In Jamaican Reggae (2007), Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat (2013), and the forthcoming Living Space: John Coltrane and Miles Davis, From Analog to Digital. He is also the co-editor of Punk Ethnography: Artists and Scholars Listen to Sublime Frequencies (2015). He is also an electric bassist and soprano saxophonist and the leader of the Afrobeat-jazz band Michael Veal & Aqua Ife.

Bode Omojola (MODERATOR) is Five College Professor and Chair, Department of Music at Mount Holyoke College. As a Five College Professor, Omojola teaches at Mount Holyoke College and the Five College Consortium. A former Radcliffe Institute Fellow in Musicology at Harvard University, Omojola received his Ph.D. from the University of Leicester in England. His opera, Odyssey of a Dream, was premiered in 2018 by the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra and Five College Consortium African Opera students.

Presented by the Five College Consortium.