Current Research

Brooklyn Experimental Music

Since 2012, I have documented, examined, and preserved myriad aspects of Brooklyn experimental music. This was the impetus for the creation of I have archived nearly 200 interviews with artists, created a sessionography for the borough, and have written numerous reviews of live concerts. On a scholarly level, this research is coalescing into a series of books that cover different aspects of the music scene including gentrification and the fight for art space, the economics of music-making, gender and racial dynamics of the avant-garde, and the impact of commoditization of music and the cultural value attributed to creative art forms. The project looks at the rise of avant-garde forms of music from the 1970s to the present with acute attention to the spaces, communities, and peoples who have forged it. The first volume in the series is nearly completed with more to follow in the coming years.

Free Jazz Oral History Project

Founded in 2016, the Free Jazz Oral History Project documents the history of the music in the voices of the people who created it. Through extensive interviews with practitioners of the music, this project has created a unique and detailed account of the rise of the music in the 1960s and its continuance up to the present through interviews with dozens of artists.

Roots of Free Jazz

This project examines the roots of Black creative music in the US from the formation of autonomous cultural spaces in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, Detroit, and elsewhere, back through the Great Migration to its roots in the urban and rural US South in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By examining social and cultural networks, the project seeks to illuminate the ways by which African American communities linked together across vast distances, established autonomous cultural zones, maintained musical traditions, and innovated musical expression against a backdrop of dislocation, community formulation and dissolution, and resistance to systemic violence.