Manuel Monestel Ramírez is a Musician, composer, teacher and cultural researcher. He received his BA in Sociology and Master of Arts from the Universidad de Costa Rica and taught a “Popular culture research” course at Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil. He has held positions in several universities as a professor and administrative at the UCR, UNED and UNA in Costa Rica. He has also been a professor, researcher and guest lecturer at several institutions such as Cornell University, New York, Bowling Green University, Ohio, Loyola University, New Orleans and National Institute of Anthropology, Mexico. He is currently a member of the Chair of Studies in Africa and the Caribbean of the UCR. Manuel is also an active participant in social movements, political parties, community associations, unions and cultural movements.
Author of two book, “Rhythm, Song and Identity: A sociocultural history of Calypso Limonense”, EUNED 2005, awarded as the Best Book of the Year Award by the IASPM (International Association for the Study of Popular Music) and “In Clave Afro Caribe”, Cultural Center of Spain, 2010, he has also published essays and articles in magazines and newspapers such as Revista Nacional de Cultura; Popular Music, Cambridge University Press; Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music, A & C Black, 2003; and ReVista, Harvard University, Winter 2016.
Manuel received the Ricardo RECA Mora prize from the Association of composers and musical authors ACAM, 2016, the National Prize of Popular Culture in 2010 and the Ancora Prize in the same year in recognition of his research work and promotion of Afro-Limonean music. He is the co-founder of the New Costa Rican Song Movement and has been part of different musical groups such as Erome, Tayacán, Orquesta del Rio Infinito, En Clave Afro Caribe and Cantomérica. He has composed a hundred songs on diverse themes with an emphasis on the roots and cultural processes of Costa Rica and Central America. He has recorded 13 albums with Cantoamérica and as soloist and 3 with Afro-Caribbean artists such as Calypso Limón Legends, Kawe Calypso and Ensamble En Clave Afro Caribe.