About the event

Join leading scholars, priests, and performers of Afro-Cuban Congo culture for enlightening presentations and discussions exploring the ways music, dance, religion, and philosophy influence how a people conceive of themselves, negotiate relationships with each other, and their history. Participants will elaborate the ways practitioners surface notions of warfare, identity, and power through drum and music practice. What theoretical organizing frameworks surface through the music, dance, and religious practice and what are their relationships to Congo, to Cuba, and to other Congo-influenced practices such as Petwo in Haiti? What is unique to Palo Mayombe and how does this impact current knowledge in Caribbean Studies, African Diaspora Studies, Ethnomusicology, and Cultural Studies?

Scholars will each identify and elaborate on the analytical lenses they employ in their scholarly and cultural organizing work with Afro-Cuban palo mayombe music and dance, updating the field on their recent findings and the implications this has for themes covered in Ethnomusicology, Cultural Anthropology, and History. Presentations and panel discussions will be followed by an interactive discussion with the audience.

12-12:10pm Welcome- Manuela Arciniegas, Ryan Mann-Hamilton, CUNY Graduate Center PhD Candidates in Music and Anthropology

12:10-12:20 Introduction- Spirituality and Culture in the Diaspora- C. Daniel Dawson, Columbia University
12:20-12:30 Connections to Caribbean Music Studies- Dr. Peter Manuel, Music Department, John Jay College, CUNY

12:30-1:15 A Visit to Mbanza Kongo- Ned Sublette, Historian, Musicologist, Composer, and Producer
1:15 1:45 Spirituality and Religion Through The Mambo - Alex LaSalle, High Priest, Singer
1:45-2:45 The Congo Drum Hidden Language- John Amira & Co., Musician and Educator of Palo, Haitian Petwo, and Bata
2:45-3:15 Embodying Warfare: W(rite) and Dance of Cuban Congos- Yesenia Fernandez Selier, Performer, Researcher, PhD Candidate/NYU
3:15-4 Audience Question and Answer, Discussion

The day of activities will be followed by the Live at 365 Concert: Roman Diaz and Afro Cuban Music Ensemble on May 11, 2015 @7pm in the Elebash Recital Hall at the CUNY Graduate Center with a Pre-concert talk taking place @6:15pm.

Cosponsored by the Advanced Research Collaborative, the Music Department at the Graduate Center and the Dominican Studies Group.