Humboldt State Calypso Band
Please join the Humboldt State University Department of Music as they present the thrilling and festive dance music of the Humboldt State Calypso Band, led by Professor Eugene Novotney, on Saturday, May 4th at 8:00 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall. One of the most popular ensembles on the North Coast, the Humboldt State Calypso Band prides itself in maintaining an accurate and authentic connection to the roots of the steel band movement, and the innovative musicians of Trinidad, the Caribbean island on which the steelpan was born. The band is dedicated to the performance of traditional and contemporary music from the Caribbean, Africa, Brazil, Cuba and the United States. Through their 33-year history of performances at HSU, the Calypso Band has become a virtual “institution” at the university, as well as in the community at large. The Calypso Band will be dedicating this show to the memory of Dr. Clifford Alexis. A native of Trinidad & Tobago, Clifford Alexis built and tuned the first set of steelpans made for the HSU Calypso Band, and served as the primary tuner for the band from that point forward, until his death in January, 2019. Alexis was originally brought to Humboldt State by the Calypso Band's founder and director, Professor Eugene Novotney, who was a graduate student at the University of Illinois when Alexis became his mentor and friend. Alexis soon became a familiar face at Humboldt State, where he performed dozens of concerts with the HSU Calypso Band over a 30-year period. Born in 1937, Clifford Alexis was widely recognized as one of the most important steelpan artists of his generation. He came to the United States in 1964 as a member of the National Steelband Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago, and ultimately moved to New York City in 1965. Alexis dedicated his entire life to the advancement of the steelpan instrument, and his legacy is well established through the hundreds of students and artists that he influenced. He was the recipient of many major awards, including being inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame, and being presented with the prestigious Hummingbird Award from the government of Trinidad & Tobago, which is the highest honor any citizen of Trinidad & Tobago can receive. In his honor, the Calypso Band will be performing Cliff's classic steelpan composition Song to the Chiracaua on this concert, as well as dedicating Len "Boogsie" Sharpe's gospel ballad Cryin' in his memory. This will be a special evening for everyone in attendance. $10 General, $5 Child, $5 HSU students with ID.