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Danongan Kalanduyan Memorial Fund

Tax deductible
The “Father of American Kulintang Music” passed away Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at Stanford University Medical Center, surrounded by his loving family and friends.  Per the request of his family in the U.S. and in the Philippines, and according to Maguindanaon Muslim tradition, he was given a proper Muslim burial within 24 hours after his death.

We are asking for your tax-deductible donations to pay for the funeral expenses, to financially assist his widow, Josefina “Pina” Kalanduyan.

Update: Salamat Emil Guillermo for this article featuring Danny, via NBC News -  "Filipino-American Musician, National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, Dies" 

Danongan Sibay “Danny” Kalanduyan was the only known Maguindanaon kulintang musician and teacher in the U.S.  He was a highly awarded Filipino American musician who taught and performed both traditional Philippine kulintang ensemble music, and traditional Philippine music fused with jazz.  He was a National Treasure.

Most traditional kulintang music that is performed in North America is a reflection of Danny Kalanduyan’s musical style and his family’s kulintang compositions, which are based on the ancient kulintang music of Dulawan, in central Mindanao Island.  Most kulintang ensembles in North America are made up, in part or in whole, by Danny Kalanduyan’s students.

Danny Kalanduyan forever changed the American music landscape, and he will be missed as a mentor, friend, and artist.

Donations made to this memorial fund will go directly to funeral and burial expenses.

Danongan Sibay “Danny” Kalanduyan was born and raised near the fishing village of Datu Piang (formerly known as Dulawan), Maguindanao province, on Mindanao Island in the Southern Philippines.

He began playing Maguindanaon kulintang music as a child, and was initially taught by his mother Sibay Batawan, who was herself an excellent musician.  As a young man, he won island-wide gandingan (hanging gong) competitions, and he toured Asia as a member of the Darangan Cultural Troupe of Mindanao State University-Marawi City.

After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Community Development, he was initially employed as the Official Campus Musician in the office of the President of MSU-Marawi, where he would be called upon to perform kulintang music for special guests and visiting dignitaries, and also continue his work with the Darangan Cultural Troupe.

In 1976, under a Rockefeller Foundation grant, he began eight years of artist-in-residency at the University of Washington in Seattle, and by 1984 he was awarded a Master's Degree in Ethnomusicology.

Danny moved to San Francisco in 1985 where, with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Folk Arts Program, he became Kularts’ first Philippine Master Artist in Residence.  From 1985 to 1988, he was the teacher and music director for the music and dance ensemble, Kulintang Arts Ensemble.  After that, he went on to perform on major stages including the Kennedy Center, Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, and the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

In 2000, he was named the first Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at San Francisco State University.  He worked with the student group Ating Tao, and went on to teach kulintang music at San Francisco State University and at Skyline College in San Bruno.

He recorded and worked with prestigious musicians and received numerous awards including the Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award, the U.S. Artists Broad Fellowship, and the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship: the highest honor given in the United States to a traditional artist.

He and his family in Cotabato were the subjects of the documentary film short “The Cotabato Sessions”, which was released in 2014.

For many, the most important part of Danny’s life’s work was that he taught so many thousands of Filipino Americans to understand and to honor the pre-colonial cultures of the Philippines.  This precious gift of knowledge was appreciated by so many who could not otherwise learn about this part of their cultural heritage, until they became fortunate enough to have Danny as their teacher.

Please feel free to leave a comment below to share some of your favorite memories of Danny.

Kularts will be hosting a memorial in his honor, and the event/venue details will be announced shortly. If you would like to participate in the planning please email: [email redacted]

Photo credit (for attached image): Tom Pich


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Kulintang Arts
San Francisco, CA
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