Jamaican Author and Folklorist Olive Lewin Dies

FLleft_1_PX55JOliveLewiAMWell-known Jamaican author and folklorist Dr. Olive Lewin died Wednesday evening (April 10, 2013).

Born in 1927, Dr. Olive Lewin is a Jamaican author, social anthropologist, musicologist, and educator. A pioneer in popularising folk music, she is most memorable, dressed in bandana outfits while performing with the Jamaica Folk Singers, which she founded over four decades ago. Dr. Lewin is probably best known for her recorded anthologies of old Jamaica folk songs, researched and collected over her lifetime. Lewin studied music and ethnomusicology in the United Kingdom. She is author of eight books and numerous articles, and she has made numerous recordings of folk music.

In 2008, the Jamaica Observer described her as having “a sassy and lively personality, a spunk which reverberates in her ability to propel Jamaican culture and history, through song, all over the world.” The article goes on to say: “Lewin punctuates her sentences with song. Her stories are complete with dialogue, eyes aglow, when she recalls her days performing with the folk singers or the escapades in her 1959 Morris Oxford in search of new knowledge on the culture. Gradually losing her memory, the tiny woman often has to turn to her partner in crime, her only child, daughter Johanna, for confirmation when telling a story. However, she needs no prompting to launch into song, something which, for as long as she can remember, she has loved to do.”

For more information, see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Dr-Olive-Lewin-is-dead and http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20080414/flair/flair2.html

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