e-Duke Books

Roy Cape:

A Life on the Calypso and Soca Bandstand

By Jocelyne Guilbault and Roy Cape

Roy Cape is a Trinidadian saxophonist active as a band musician for more than fifty years and as a bandleader for more than thirty. He is known throughout the islands and the Caribbean diasporas in North America and Europe. Part ethnography, part biography, and part Caribbean music history, Roy Cape is about the making of reputation and circulation, and about the meaning of labor and work ethics. An experiment in storytelling, it joins Roy's voice with that of ethnomusicologist Jocelyne Guilbault. The idea for the book emerged from an exchange they had while discussing Roy's journey as a performer and bandleader. In conversation, they began experimenting with voice, with who takes the lead, who says what, when, to whom, and why. Their book reflects that dynamic, combining first-person narrative, dialogue, and the polyphony of Roy's bandmates' voices. Listening to recordings and looking at old photographs elicited more recollections, which allowed Roy to expand on recurring themes and motifs. This congenial, candid book offers different ways of knowing Roy's labor of love—his sound and work through sound, his reputation and circulation as a renowned musician and bandleader in the world.

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