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Dr. Clifford Alexis, Renowned Tuner and Steelband Builder, Passes

Dr. Clifford Alexis
Dr. Clifford Alexis

Illinois, USA - The global steelband community is mourning the loss of yet another elder in its ranks. Dr. Clifford Alexis, retired educator, arranger, tuner and steelband builder for Northern Illinois University (NIU), passed away January 29 after illness.

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Alexis had been the crux of the steelband program at the university since the 1980s, and was a mentor for many, including Liam Teague, who attended NIU and is himself now on the faculty. After retiring, Alexis received an honorary Doctorate from the institution in 2017.  He was also accorded one of his native countryís highest honors, the Chaconia Medal (Silver) in 2018.

Liam Teague, left, with Dr. Clifford Alexis
Liam Teague, left, with Dr. Clifford Alexis

Many young renowned steelband musicians have benefited from his tutelage and experience as part of their Bachelorís and Masterís degree programs. These include but are not limited to Dr. Mia Gormandy, Khan Cordice, Seion Gomez, Yuko Asada - to name but a handful.

Dr. Alexis will be incredibly missed; his impact over the years has been indelible on the landscape of Pan in the United States and the wider world.

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