Panayotis (Paddy) League, Assistant Professor of Musicology and Director of the Center for Music of the Americas, specializes in the traditional music of the Greek islands, northeastern Brazil, Ireland, and their respective diasporas, as well as instrumental rock music and the machines that make it possible. He holds the Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Harvard University, where he also served as the James A. Notopoulos Fellow in the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature.
League’s research has been supported by grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection at Sacramento State University, and his scholarship has been recognized with the Victor Papacosma Prize from the Modern Greek Studies Association. He has published in Ethnomusicology, the Journal of Modern Greek Studies, the Journal of the Society for American Music, the Journal of Greek Media and Culture, the Harvard Review of Latin America, and several edited collections. His monograph, Echoes of the Great Catastrophe: Re-Sounding Anatolian Greekness in Diaspora, published by University of Michigan Press, explores the legacy of Ottoman-era cosmopolitanism among musicians and dancers on the island of Lesvos and their migrant cousins in the United States. As a Fulbright Fellow in Brazil, he researched the history, playing techniques, and sociopolitical significance of the bisonoric button accordion in the local soundscape of the state of Paraíba, and is working on both a related monograph and a multi-volume collection of transcriptions. His next projects include a history of the role traditional music and dance have played in the transition to and exploration of ethnic whiteness among Greek migrants to the American South, and an ethnography of the contemporary Southern instrumental surf rock scene.
League is a member of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Modern Greek Studies Association, the American Folklore Society, the International Council for Traditional Music, the Associação Brasileira de Etnomusicologia, and the International Bagpipe Organization, and he sits on the SEM Council and the Executive Board of the Journal of Modern Greek Studies. He formerly served as Managing Editor of Oral Tradition and is Chair and a founding member of the Modern Greek Studies Association’s Transnational Studies Committee.
An active performer, composer, and recording artist, League plays fiddles, lutes, accordion, percussion, and tsambouna (goatskin bagpipe) at venues around the world. In 2018 he was awarded a Traditional Artist Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and in 2019 was named a Master Artist by the Florida Folklife Program for his work performing and teaching the traditional music and oral poetry of Kalymnos in the Greek immigrant community of Tarpon Springs. He is currently working on several recordings featuring his instrumental surf rock project Echolocator, musical settings of modern Greek poetry, and original songs saturated with the ethos of New Wave, bossa nova, and rebetika.
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