UCL Institute of the Americas


Riff: The Shake Keane Story: An Itinerant Caribbean Artist’s Life

28 April 2021, 5:30 pm–6:30 pm

Riff: The Shake Keane Story

Nationalism, migration and masculinity as social framing devices through which an artist's life can be usefully examined

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to



Sold out




UCL Institute of the Americas

Access video here 

The life of Shake Keane, the accomplished jazz musician and poet from St Vincent, spanned seventy years of the twentieth century (1927 - 1997). He spent in total 33 years (comprising two periods) in St Vincent and another 37 years out of St Vincent, principally in London, Cologne and New York. What can one learn about the Caribbean from the trajectory of one artist’s life? In my presentation I will argue that nationalism, migration and masculinity are the social framing devices through which Shake Keane’s life as musician and poet can usefully be examined.  

Philip Nanton

Philip Nanton is a writer, poet and performer. Prior to his recent biography of Shake Keane he was the author of two poetry collections, Island Voices from St Christopher & the Barracudas (2014) and Canouan Suite & Other Pieces (2016) as well as an original critique of Caribbean society Frontiers of the Caribbean (2018).