In his most recent book, Music From Behind the Bridge: Steelband Spirit and Politics in Trinidad and Tobago, Shannon Dudley examines the rise of steelband music from a disparaged underclass pastime to a symbol of Trinidadian culture. Dudley tells the story of the steelband in the context of Afro-Trinidadian tradition, carnival, colonial authority, and nationalist politics, and connects the history of the steelband to the powerful relationship between popular culture and nationalism.
Shannon Dudley’s research covers the music of El Gran Combo and salsa music in Puerto Rico, as well as Latino contributions to American popular music. His theoretical interests include nationalism, festival, transculturation, race and ethnicity, and the way these forces shape musical performance. He is active in the Seattle music community, and served as a guest curator for the recent American Sabor exhibit at the Experience Music Project. In addition to Music Behind the Bridge, Dudley is the author of Carnival Music in Trinidad (2004).