January 15, 1937 ~ January 29, 2019 (age 82) 82 Years Old


Clifford Alexis, 82, of DeKalb, Illinois, died Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb.

He was born on January 15, 1937, in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, the son of Francisco and Millicent (Alexis) Pierre.

Clifford first came to the U.S. in 1964 as a member of the National Steelband of Trinidad and Tobago. He performed all over the world with this group and as leader of his own groups.  For 12 years he was employed by the St. Paul, Minnesota public schools as a steelband director, and received the prestigious Minneapolis/St. Paul "Outstanding Black Musician" award twice. In addition to his formidable skill as a pan builder and tuner, Clifford was an outstanding composer, arranger and performer. In 1985 he joined the staff of the Northern Illinois University School of Music, and in addition to his responsibilities for maintaining and upgrading the school's large inventory of pans, Clifford co-directed the NIU Steelband with Al O’Connor and later with Liam Teague. Clifford was in great demand as a builder, tuner, clinician, composer and arranger. He received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from NIU and the Chaconia Silver National Award from Trinidad and Tobago.

He is survived by his wife, Yuko Asada; his children, Brian (Susie) Alexis, Masaya (Tiffany) Alexis, Cliffie Alexis, Ravea Alexis, Dionisio Alexis and Aciano Alexis; several grandchildren; one brother, Horace Alexis; one sister, Lorna Turner; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Louise Pierre and Marjorie Pierre.

The Memorial Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a service at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 5, 2019, at Anderson Funeral Home in DeKalb. Cremation will follow services.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Clifford Alexis Memorial Fund, addressed to the Alexis Family in care of Anderson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 605, 2011 South Fourth Street, DeKalb, IL 60115.

For information, visit or call 815-756-1022.



Memorial Visitation

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Anderson Funeral Home
2011 South Fourth Street
DeKalb, Illinois 60115

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