World Slavery: The Haitian Revolution and the Rise of American Music, with musician Ray Kamalay

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month!

A Discussion & Musical Performance with Ray Kamalay

In conjunction with 2011 Hispanic Heritage Month programs, Providence Public Library welcomes celebrated Detroit musician Ray Kamalay on Saturday, October 8 for a special discussion and musical performance entitled World Slavery: The Haitian Revolution and the Rise of American Music. The program will be held from 2 to 3:30 pm in the Library’s Barnard Room (3rd Floor), 150 Empire Street, Providence.

Ray Kamalay, a long-time professional musician who contributes performances of the various genres, will trace the development of slavery from ancient times to its links with American society and into the early jazz age, putting American music in the perspective of world history. 

His discussion will include freedom, ancient and modern slavery, the Haitian Revolution, the origin of blackface, spirituals, blues, minstrel shows, ragtime and jazz. He will punctuate his talk with musical performance on varied instruments.

Kamalay is a Detroit native, with a degree in philosophy from the University of Detroit. He has been a professional musician since 1974 and has performed at some of the most prestigious venues including the Edinburgh Festival, Interlochen, Winnipeg, Mariposa and the Philadelphia Folk Festival.  In 1997, his work with Howard and Ralphe Armstrong was nominated for the W. C. Handy Award.  For more info about Ray: .


“…You enthralled everyone with your description of the history of slavery in the world and especially in the New World…interspersed with the music of slavery….The audience was spellbound and fascinated by your delivery, without notes, of this important subject…We have  seldom experienced such an engaging evening on a subject many find troublesome.” — Stan Ransom, Plattsburgh Public Library

“Ray is at the top of Michigan’s list of artists.” — Bruce Bauman, Wheatland Music Organization

“… Kamalay really shines when he combines the discussion of the evolution of American music with the performance of examples of African spirituals, ragtime music and early jazz. He is a gifted performer and the audience was left with a desire to hear more.  Kamalay’s material was thought-provoking; his musical performance was first rate…” — Elizabeth Donovan, North Kingstown Free Library