My work focuses on creative practice in African and Afro-diasporic music, particularly in the context of popular music and new African diasporas in Europe and North America. I am currently working on a book project about sound, spirituality, and migration in the lives of brass band and jazz musicians from Republic of Benin, West Africa, where I have been conducting fieldwork since 2007.
My publications have explored a wide range of topics, from phenomenology, semiotics, and history in music analysis, to culturally grounded definitions of musical genre and style, the aesthetics of jazz, and Afro-modernism. My most recent writing is focused on issues of protest and indirection in African brass band music in Europe. My second research project in development examines the role of health and well being in the transmission of African spiritual and musical practices.
I completed my PhD in ethnomusicology at Harvard University in 2017, and I also hold an MA in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University (2011), and a BM in jazz studies and a BA in English from Oberlin College and Conservatory (2007). Before coming to UF, I previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Williams College. I perform actively as a jazz trombonist in several groups, including the Theodicy Jazz Collective.