I teach courses in jazz history, improvisation, the live music experience, embodied practice and musicianship. Some of my courses include very broad, interdisciplinary approaches to material, such as a first-year seminar on improvisational thinking that draws on evolutionary biology, neuroscience, literary theory, music and theater; or a course on listening that includes anatomy, psychology, philosophy, and political theory. Other courses have quite specialized, technical approaches: learning to hear and perform functional harmony; or developing fluency with free jazz vocabulary and practices. I approach music in my courses as a powerful cultural force that impacts everything from our most important institutions to our very bodies. I orient my teaching toward developing skills in students to examine their assumptions about culture and toward empowering them to shape their experiences, to construct their own meanings, their own lines of inquiry, and even their environments--to act as participants in, not just observers of, the discourse of music and related disciplines.


I am a jazz musician interested in how race, culture, and political economy intersect with music. My current projects include an album that examines the aesthetic values and racial politics of jazz and Western classical chamber music; a new composition for jazz orchestra; the formation of an Open Access record label that centers peer review; and performances with pianist/composer Jason Moran's project in tribute to World War I veteran James Reese Europe, Jason Moran’s Harlem Hellfighters: James Reese Europe and the Absence of Ruin.


  • Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Jazz Studies, New England Conservatory, 2006
  • Master of Music (M.M.) in Jazz Studies, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, 1996
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music, Amherst College, 1990