Krina Cayabyab is a PhD student in the Reid School of Music at the University of Edinburgh, with a research focus on a postcolonial history of jazz in the Philippines from 1946 to 1986. She finished her degree in Choral Conducting at the University of the Philippines College of Music (2009) where she also received her degree in MM Musicology (2018). She joined the faculty of the Department of Musicology of the same university in 2018 and has worked with the Department of Art Studies previously.
Krina performs with and arranges for the female vocal trio, Baihana, whom she has participated with in both local and international shows and jazz festivals. As a composer and arranger, her works include original compositions and sound design for theatre and short films, such as the scoring and choral arrangements for the film Song of the Fireflies (2023), Metropolitan Theatre’s Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan (2021), Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini (2014), #R</3J (2015), Angry Christ (2017), and The Kundiman Party (2018) for Dulaang UP; Bagong Cristo and Macario Sakay for UP Upsilon Sigma Phi (2017); and Sinagtala for Teatro Kolehiyo ng Miriam. Her arrangements include recordings of Filipino lullabies with the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Himig Himbing (2022-2023), Handel’s Messiah performed by the UP Jazz Ensemble and the choral groups of UP (2014), new arrangements for choir, string quintet and piano of Nicanor Abelardo’s kundimans (2015), and arrangements of Philippine bodabil and radyo songs of the 1920s-1940s (2017). She has collaborated with Elena Laniog (2016), Novy Bereber (2017) and Ava Villaueva Ong (2019) for the Neo Filipino Choreographers Series.
Her research interests include popular music and jazz in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, ethnomusicology, cultural memory, and music education.
Krina's PhD research project explores how the genre culture of jazz can be understood as a translocal scene in the Philippines from 1946-1986. As there is a dearth of research about jazz and its history in the country during this period, the negotiations made by various key players (i.e. musicians, writers, media, club owners, radio DJs, record collectors, etc.) emerging from oral interviews and archival sources are investigated to understand the impact of racial, gendered, and socioeconomic notions on the cultural construction of the jazz scene in the country. This project aims to understand how postcolonialism, decolonisation, authentication, media, and mobilities intersect in contextualising Philippine experiences and constructions of jazz during the period of study.
Perspectives in Music History
Cayabyab, Krina. Forthcoming. "Popular Music Spaces Constructed by Filipinos During COVID." Popular Art and Culture in the Philippines in the Time of Corona.