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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Caleb Dube - Rest In Peace

Caleb Dube was an unsung hero of the blues in Chicago. He died on Thursday, September 21. Caleb is in the middle in this picture, between blues harmonica player Billy Branch and the late, great jazz musician, Malachi Thompson.

Caleb was the husband of Katherine Davis, a superb blues singer. I have jammed with Katherine many times. She is a major pillar of the Chicago blues community - a big participant in the "Blues in the Schools" program and a fine performer that has lit up many a stage in Chicago and around the world. Caleb was a member of the Chicago Blues Festival committee. He was a brilliant man - PhD in Anthropology from Northwestern University in Evanston IL, an M. Phil degree in folklore, and a B.A. Honors degree in History and African Languages. He taught at DePaul University in the Department of Anthropology, and in the Department of Sociology since Fall 2002. Previously he taught at the University of Zimbabwe for eight years in the Department of African Languages and Literature. His areas of research were the production and political economy of African American and African popular culture. Caleb was in the middle of writing a new book about Chicago blues artists when he died. He taught courses in Chicago jazz and blues at DePaul University; his PhD dissertation at Northwestern was focused on the Chicago jazz and blues culture. He had a passion for the music. He was a published academic reseacher on a number of topics and was involved in many community and charitable organizations.

Caleb was politically active, too. Here is a snapshot of Caleb and Katherine with Barack Obama from a fundraiser at Rosa's Lounge on the West Side of Chicago (from 2003).

Caleb also was a member of the Zimbabwe Parliament in the mid-1980's.

Caleb came from Zimbabwe and many of his family members still live there. His funeral has been delayed to allow Caleb's Zimbabwe relatives to make the trip to Chicago. His funeral will be at 10:00 am on Saturday October 14 at Johnson's Funeral Home at 236 W. Division in Chicago. Johnson's is behind Sammy's Hot Dog stand.

This was a good man who died too soon. Hearts are broken.

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