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Prof. Matthew Sakakeeny: Instrumentality: Technologies of Voice in the New Orleans Brass Band (4/10, 12-2PM)

Event Start: 
Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 12:00pm - 2:00pm
701C Dodge Hall, Center for Ethnomusicology, Columbia U Morningside Campus (Broadway & 116th St.)

The Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University Presents:

Instrumentality: Technologies of Voice in the New Orleans Brass Band

Matthew Sakakeeny
(Associate Professor of Music, Tulane University, and alumnus, Columbia PhD program in Ethnomusicology)

(click image to enlarge)

Thursday April 10, 2014
12:00-2:00 pm

Center for Ethnomusicology, 701C Dodge Hall
Columbia University Morningside Campus (Broadway at 116th St.)


Speaker Bio:

Matthew Sakakeeny is Associate Professor of Music at Tulane University. An ethnomusicologist, journalist, and musician, Matt is the author of the book Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans (Duke University Press, 2013) and articles in EthnomusicologyBlack Music Research Journal, and other publications. He graduated from the Columbia University ethnomusicology PhD program in 2008. 

The instrumentality of musical instruments is to act as a voice unmoored from language. Linguistic anthropologists have argued that speech acts produce subjectivity through vocal sound, and instruments extend this sonic materiality into domains where semantic meaning is augmented or even replaced by musical voicings. In New Orleans, the instruments of the brass band are sound technologies utilized to communicate particular messages to a community of listeners. In the local tradition of the jazz funeral, musicians determine the emotional register of the procession: mournful hymns regulate the slow march to the gravesite and upbeat popular songs signal the transition to celebratory dancing after burial. The musicians not only organize the memorial by changing tempo and repertoire, they communicate to the living and the dead through the material sound of their instruments. Black New Orleanians occupying public spaces where lynchings, race riots, segregation, and gentrification have taken place "give voice" to these submerged histories by marching and dancing to the beat of the brass band. And the most recent generation of musicians has drawn upon hip-hop, integrating the direct language of rap into a polyphony of voices that includes horns, drums, and group singing. In this case study of the brass bands of New Orleans, a holistic approach to sonic materiality integrates the spoken, the sung, and instrumental sound in a densely layered soundscape that creates meaning and value for radicalized subjects of power.

Dale Cockrell: Blood on Fire: Sex and Music in America, 1840-1917 (May 2, 3pm)

Event Start: 
Friday, May 2, 2014 - 3:00pm
622 Dodge Hall (CU Morningside Campus)

The Department of Music and the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University Present: 

Blood on Fire:  Sex and Music in America, 1840-1917

A talk by:
Prof. Dale Cockrell (Director, Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University; Professor of Musicology Emeritus, Vanderbilt University; Research Associate, University of the Free State, South Africa)

Friday, May 2, 2014
622 Dodge Hall (CU Morningside Campus)
Free and Open to the Public

Abstract: Prostitution in the United States between 1840-1917 was big business. Walt Whitman’s “plain truth” assertion was only a mild exaggeration when he claimed that “nineteen out of twenty of the mass of American young men, who live in or visit the great cities, are more or less familiar with houses of prostitution and are customers to them.”  Tens of thousands of brothels, concert saloons, and dance halls across the nation—all common sites for prostitution—featured regular, full-time professional music-making for dancing, and thus provided a well-paid livelihood for working musicians.  Indeed, a statistical analysis suggests that a third to half of all professional performing musicians during the period were directly employed full-time in the service of prostitution.  Evidence of that music-making indicates that an energetic “noisy” dance music was developed specifically to stimulate eroticized male bodies, and hence to stimulate profits for the houses.  This project thus explores the nexus between prostitution, music-making, dance, sexuality, blackface minstrelsy, the underground cultural economy, and the development of musical foundations upon which an extraordinarily vital twentieth-century American popular music was built.

About the speaker: Dale Cockrell is the Director of the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University, Professor of Musicology Emeritus at Vanderbilt University, and a Research Associate of the University of the Free State (South Africa).  He is widely published in the field of American music studies, including The Ingalls Wilder Family Songbook (2011), Vol. 22 in the Music of the United States of America series; Demons of Disorder:  Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World (1997), which won the C. Hugh Holman Award; Excelsior:  Journals of the Hutchinson Family Singers, 1842-1846 (1989), recipient of the Irving Lowens Award; ten other books and editions; and more than seventy scholarly articles.  He is a former President of the Society for American Music, from which he received the Distinguished Service Award in 2010, an elected Member of the American Antiquarian Society, and the Founder and President of  The Pa’s Fiddle Project, an educational, scholarly, and musical program dedicated to recording the music of the Little House books and reconnecting the nation’s children with the rich music legacies embedded in them.

Book Release Event for Prof. Lila Ellen Gray's "Fado Resounding" at Book Culture (4/9, 7pm)

Event Start: 
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 7:00pm
Prof. Lila Ellen Gray presents her new book, Fado Resounding: Affective Politics and Urban Life (Duke Univ. Press) at Book Culture

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Free and Open to the Public
@ Book Culture
536 W 112th St., NYC (Btwn. Broadway and Amsterdam Aves.)
(212) 865-1588

Prof. Ellen Gray at "Raising the Bar": "Listening in Lisbon's Fado Bars" (4/29, 8:30pm)

Event Start: 
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 8:30pm
The Duplex 61 Christopher Street Manhattan, NY

Prof. Lila Ellen Gray on "Listening in Lisbon's Fado Bars" 

Part of the "Raising the Bar" event (details here):

(tickets must be reserved online)

April 29, 2014 
8:30 pm 
The Duplex
61 Christopher Street
Manhattan, NY 10014, USA

Read the feature story on "Raising the Bar" events in The Guardian.


Prof. Gray will also be present for a special book release event for Fado Resounding at Book Culture, April 9th at 7PM.

MACSEM 2014 Annual Meeting - University of Pennsylvania, March 29-30, 2014

MACSEM 2013 Logo

The 2014 annual meeting of MACSEM will take place on March 29-30, 2014 at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, PA

MACSEM 2014 Keynote Speaker:
Kate Pourshariati

Keynote Title: FILM SOUND/SOUND FILM: Some preliminary notes on the histories of sound in documentary and ethnographic film.

Download the Full Conference Program (PDF).

(recommended by the local arrangements committee)

$139/night @ Homewood Suites by Hilton - University City
4109 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

3549 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Keynote Speaker Bio:
Kate Pourshariati is a film archivist at the Penn Museum where she works with a range of culturally and historically significant motion picture films, dating from 1913 to the 1990s. Kate has been involved with restoration of (likely) the first documentary sound film, Matto Grosso, the Great Brazilian Wilderness (1931), the seminal series Navajo Film Themselves (1966) and Native Life in the Philippines (1913). In addition to the cataloging, restoration and digitization of films, she has been working with source communities to share back the Museum's historic film materials for re-interpretation and revision. Most recently, she has been curating cultural documentary screenings at the Museum, including a new occasional series called Live From the Archives! which consists of films made using Museum archival footage. Kate studied visual anthropology with several principal filmmakers of the field; Jean Rouch, Richard Leacock, and Tim Asch, at Harvard. Among other works, she has written on the film works and photographs of the anthropologist Frank Speck, for an upcoming festschrift. She is currently also working with the Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson films of Bali and Papua New Guinea for the Library of Congress.
For a preview or background on the topic of the talk, please visit the Matto Grosso site.

More information can be found on MACSEM's Facebook page.

U Penn Dept of Music
Call for papers (deadline now expired):
The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology ( ) will hold its annual meeting between March 28-30, 2014 at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. The Program Committee invites proposals from ethnomusicologists as well as music scholars working in related fields, including historical musicology, anthropology, media studies, folklore, performance studies, and cultural studies. Graduate and undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to submit abstracts. MACSEM awards the Hewitt Pantaleoni Prize each year to the best student paper delivered at the annual meeting.
Options for presentations include scholarly papers (20-minute presentation,10-minute discussion), organized panels of three or four papers, poster sessions, lecture-demonstrations, film/video screenings, and workshops. Paper proposals should include an abstract of no more than 250 words. Those proposing panels should submit one 200-word abstract for the entire panel as well as individual abstracts for each presenter. Please include with your proposal: the name(s) of the presenter(s), institutional affiliation(s), title of presentation, format of presentation (paper, panel, poster, workshop, etc.), A/V equipment requirements, e-mail address, and phone number.

Please send abstracts by e-mail to: Fernando Rios (Program Committee Chair) at, with the subject line: MACSEM 2014 Proposal Submission.

*Deadline:* February 9, 2014 (Early submissions are strongly encouraged!)

Notifications will be made by the end of February.

Cacá Machado: "Music, History and Literature in the Work of Ernesto Nazareth" (3/24, 5:30PM)

Event Start: 
Monday, March 24, 2014 - 5:30pm
701C Dodge Hall (Center for Ethnomusicology, Columbia Morningside Campus, 116th and Broadway)

The Center for Ethnomusicology Presents:

Music, history and literature in the work of Ernesto Nazareth

a talk by

Prof. Cacá Machado (University of São Paulo, Brazil)

Date: Monday, March 24, 2014
Time: 5.30 pm - 7.30 pm
Place: Center for Ethnomusicology,  Dodge Hall 701C, 
Columbia University Morningside Campus (Broadway and 116th St.)
Sponsored by: Center for Ethnomusicology
Center for Ethnomusicology events are always free and open to the public!

Speaker Biography:
Cacá Machado is a musician and historian from the University of São Paulo, where he is also a visiting professor. He is author of O enigma do homem célebre: ambição e vocação de Ernesto Nazareth (Instituto Moreira Salles, 2007),  (The enigma of the famous man: ambition and vocation of Ernesto Nazareth), Tom Jobim (publifolha, 2008) and Todo Nazareth: obras completas (6 volumes, Água-forte, 2011) (All Nazareth, Complete Works). Recently he also released his latest CD eslavosamba (YB Music/Circus, 2013) with the participation of several noted musicians from Brazil.

Prof. Samuel Araújo: Reengaging Research Praxis in the Real World (3/28, 11AM)

Event Start: 
Friday, March 28, 2014 - 11:00am
701C Dodge Hall, The Center for Ethnomusicology (Columbia Morningside Campus, 116th & Broadway)

Click to enlarge

The Center for Ethnomusicology Presents:

Reengaging Research Praxis in the Real World: Politico-Epistemological Dimensions of Intercultural Dialogue in the Ethnography of Music-Making

Prof. Samuel Araújo 
(Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Tinker VIsiting Professsor at The University of Chicago, Spring 2014)

Friday, March 28
11.00 am - 1.00 pm
Center for Ethnomusicology, Dodge Hall 701C

Center for Ethnomusicology events are always FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

ABSTRACT:  Among other key issues in many post-industrial metropolitan areas today are the tight perspectives for inclusion of increasing numbers of their youth population in the formal job market, tending to render lasting if not permanent a situation previously had as transitory, i.e. to remain in what Marx termed the reserve labor army. Not sharing the values of older generations forged under the supremacy of industrial work ethics, these new contingents of urban subjects frequently lack identification with, and not rarely rage against older ideals of edifying musical heritages and identity markers, leading to the adoption of internationalized forms (e.g., funk, rap, graffiti), defying established artistic and cultural canons, which expose the signs of degradation of social life, as well as policies of isolation and extermination of the poor. Based on both his academic experience with participatory action-research on the favela soundscapes of Rio de Janeiro and as a public sector cultural administrator, the author will explore these challenges, highlighting a number of new demands this social equation poses to both academics and policy makers.    


SPEAKER BIO: Prof. Samuel Araújo coordinates the Ethnomusicology Laboratory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and is a Tinker Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago for the Spring of 2014. He has published several articles and book chapters, besides editing three collective volumes, in Brazil and abroad on music, politics, cultural policy and violence, as well as on action-research projects in collaboration with organizations based in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas.  

Prof. Kevin Fellezs to give Woody Guthrie Distinguished Lecture at IASPM-US

Professor Kevin Fellezs will be giving the 2014 Woody Guthrie Distinguished Lecture at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, US Branch (IASPM-US) annual conference on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Fellezs's talk is titled "What Is This 'Black' In Japanese Popular Music? (Re)Imagining Race in a Transnational Polycultural Context," which focuses on his research of Black American musicians enjoying success in Japan in enka and J-Pop, two genres strongly associated with Japanese-ness, complicating conventional ideas linking identity, nationality, race, and genre.

Position Announcement: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Director of Music Performance Program

The Department of Music at Columbia University invites applications for a full-time position at the rank of Lecturer or Senior Lecturer to serve as Director of its Music Performance Program, beginning on July 1, 2014.

We seek candidates with artistic and intellectual accomplishments, with relevant teaching and administrative experience, and with broad interests in the musical disciplines. The appointee will manage the budget and recommend policies and priorities for the MPP, reporting directly to the Chair of the Department, and will work in consultation with the Department to frame and implement the activities of the Music Performance Program. The appointee's responsibilities will also include coordinating auditions, forming student chamber ensembles, assigning appropriate coaches to these ensembles, scheduling concerts, student recitals, and other performances, and overseeing the teaching of private lessons. In addition, the appointee will teach one course per term, usually in the Core Curriculum, to be determined in consultation with the Chair.

This is a full-time appointment with multi-year renewals contingent on successful reviews.

Through Columbia University's online system, please upload a letter of application (including a statement of teaching interests and experience), a curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references. For more information and to apply, please go

Review of applications will begin April 7, 2014 and continue until the position is filled.

Columbia University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

"Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and the Global Movement to Sustain Local Cultures" - Dr. Michael Mason (3/11, 4-6PM)

Event Start: 
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm
701C Dodge Hall, Center for Ethnomusicology

The Center for Ethnomusicology presents a colloquium featuring:

Dr. Michael Mason
Director of Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

"Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and the Global Movement to Sustain Local Cultures."

Tuesday, March 11, 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm
Center for Ethnomusicology, Dodge Hall 701C
Columbia University Morningside Campus
Broadway and 116th St.

Film Screening and Discussion -- Miguel Coyula: "Sound and image in Memories of Overdevelopment" (Feb. 21, 2PM)

Event Start: 
Friday, February 21, 2014 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (Center for Ethnomusicology)

The Center for Ethnomusicology Presents a Talk and Film Screening of:

Sound and image in Memories of Overdevelopment

featuring Miguel Coyula, Independent film-maker (Cuba)

Friday February 21, 2014
701 C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology)
2.00 pm- 5.00 pm

Free and open to the public.  


Miguel Coyula (Havana, 1977) is one of the most accomplished and internationally acclaimed Independent Filmmakers from Cuba. He is the director of several experimental short films and two feature films, Cucarachas rojas (2003) and Memorias del Desarrollo (2010), which was first shown in Sundance and has since gained enormous recognition and several awards.  Coyula's work is aesthetically focused on exploring new ways of storytelling through digital technology, yet his films are lucid and sophisticated portrayals of a variety of historical events and political matters. Memorias del Desarrollo, based on a novel by Edmundo Desnoes, tells the story of a Cuban intellectual who leaves "underdevelopment" behind to find himself at odds with the ambiguities of his new life as a professor in the "developed" world. The protagonist is a witness to the Cuban Revolution and the several waves of migration leaving the island from the 60's to the 80's, as well as to the attacks of September 11th in New York. The movie is not available in DVD or for commercial purposes.

Click here for an interview with Coyula in Spanish

See the film trailer here:

 read more »

Patrick Landeza- "Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar and the Performance of Native Hawaiian Identity" (Feb 7, 2-4PM)

Event Start: 
Friday, February 7, 2014 - 2:19pm - 4:00pm
701C Dodge Hall, Center for Ethnomusicology, Columbia University Morningside Campus at 116th and Broadway
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar and the Performance of Native Hawaiian Identity

a performance and presentation by Patrick Landeza

Patrick Landeza will give a unique performance. While he will perform Hawaiian slack key guitar, he will also discuss the ways in which his participation in Hawaiian music brought out a number of issues Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) born and raised outside of Hawai’i confront in terms of authenticity and legitimacy. Landeza’s bassist, Christopher Lau, is a professional musician with decades of experience in Hawaiian music.

Friday, February 7th
701 C Dodge Hall
Columbia University


Patrick Landeza, ki ho’alu (Hawaiian slack key guitar)
Christopher Lau, acoustic bass

Patrick Landeza, Hawaiian slack key guitarist extraordinaire, returns fresh on the heels of receiving Hawaiian music’s highest honor, the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Slack Key Album of the Year. He made Hawaiian music history as the first musician based on the mainland to win this award.

Prof. Ellen Gray Publishes "Fado Resounding"

The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates Professor Ellen Gray on the publication of her book Fado Resounding: Affective Politics and Urban Life (Duke University Press). This ethnography of fado, Portugal's most celebrated popular music genre, shows how a musical genre can sediment, circulate, and transform affect, sonorously rendering history and place as soulful and feeling as public.

The book's introduction is currently available for preview and free download on Scribd.

 "Lila Ellen Gray positions Lisbon's amateur fado scene in terms of all the contestation about what fado is and where the action is taking place. This positioning is a unique and valuable contribution to music ethnography, and Gray does major and convincing intellectual work arguing for 'amateur' scenes as paths into the deepest musical and ethnographic understandings of genre, style, performance, poesis, and the ways that sociality is lived and experienced through sound."—Steven Feld, author of Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra: Five Musical Years in Ghana

Readers in the USA can receive a 20% discount on the book when ordering directly from Duke University Press (use code P13GRAY at checkout).

In Europe, the book is available through Combined Academic Publishers with a 30% discount (use the code CS1113FADO).

In Lisbon, the book is available at the bookstore Fabula Urbis:

 read more »

Ethnomusicology PhD Candidate Adam Kielman Wins Three Major Prizes!

The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD candidate Adam Kielman, who has won three prestigious prizes for papers presented at academic conferences, in addition to a major research fellowship (Fulbright DDRA) for his work in China.

The prizes awarded to Mr. Kielman include:

The Hewitt Pantaleoni Prize  -- Awarded by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society of Ethnomusicology (MACSEM) for the best student paper presented at their annual meeting held March 23-24, 2013 in Richmond, VA. Paper title: " 'Sounds like Home': Language and Place in Guangzhou's Modern Folk."

The Martin Hatch Award  -- Awarded by the Society for Asian Music (SAM) for the best student paper on Asian music presented at the annual Society for Ethnomusicology national meeting held November 1-4, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. Paper title: "Xiandai Minyao: 'Modern Folk' in Guangzhou."

The Barbara Barnard Smith Prize -- Awarded by the Association for Chinese Music Research (ACMR) to recognize an outstanding student paper in the field of Chinese music, broadly defined, presented at the annual Society for Ethnomusicology national meeting held November 1-4, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. Paper title: "Xiandai Minyao: 'Modern Folk' in Guangzhou."

Mr. Kielman, who is also an alumnus of Columbia College (EALAC major, LAJPP performer), has also just successfully defended his doctoral dissertation proposal, entitled "Sounding Configurations of Difference in Postsocialist China."  He is preparing to depart for field research in China with support from a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, awarded in September 2013.
Congratulations to Mr. Kielman!


CU Alum Amanda Minks Publishes "Voices of Play: Miskitu Children's Speech and Song on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua"

The Center congratulates PhD program alumna Prof. Amanda Minks (University of Oklahoma, PhD in Ethnomusicology, 2006), who has just published Voices of Play: Miskitu Children's Speech and Song on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua with the University of Arizona Press' First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies series (2013).

While indigenous languages have become prominent in global political and educational discourses, limited attention has been given to indigenous children's everyday communication. Voices of Play  is a study of multilingual play and performance among Miskitu children growing up on Corn Island, part of a multi-ethnic autonomous region on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.

Corn Island is historically home to Afro-Caribbean Creole people, but increasing numbers of Miskitu people began moving there from the mainland during the Contra War, and many Spanish-speaking mestizos from western Nicaragua have also settled there. Miskitu kids on Corn Island often gain some competence speaking Miskitu, Spanish, and Kriol English. As the children of migrants and the first generation of their families to grow up with television, they develop creative forms of expression that combine languages and genres, shaping intercultural senses of belonging.

Voices of Play is the first ethnography to focus on the interaction between music and language in children's discourse. Minks skillfully weaves together Latin American, North American, and European theories of culture and communication, creating a transdisciplinary dialogue that moves across intellectual geographies. Her analysis shows how music and language involve a wide range of communicative resources that create new forms of belonging and enable dialogue across differences. Miskitu children's voices reveal the intertwining of speech and song, the emergence of "self" and "other," and the centrality of aesthetics to social struggle.

Amanda Minks is Associate Professor in the Honors College and is affiliated with the Department of Anthropology and with the programs in Native American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Oklahoma University. She earned the PhD in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University in 2006.

 read more »
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