photo: Dennis Esler

I am an anthropologist of music living in New Orleans and teaching at Tulane University. In my book, Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans, I follow brass band musicians as they march off the streets and into nightclubs, festival grounds, and recording studios. I also write essays and occasionally produce public radio pieces on New Orleans culture. I co-edited the book Keywords in Sound with David Novak. At Tulane, I teach courses on a variety of topics ranging from classical music to New Orleans music.

I was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, attended Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and worked as a sound engineer at the Smithsonian Institution. I moved to New Orleans in 1997 and became the co-producer of the public radio program American Routes. I received my PhD in ethnomusicology from Columbia University in 2008 and I’m an Associate Professor of Music at Tulane. My work as an anthropologist is based on engagement with everyday New Orleanians on issues of social justice.

My next book is about music education in New Orleans, specifically the social benefits for kids playing in school marching bands. I am partnering with the amazing photographer Abdul Aziz.

Other things I do:
I am a board member for the Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund.
I am a board member for the Roots of Music afterschool program.
I support MaCCNO, the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans.
I am the bandleader and guitarist for Los Po-Boy-Citos.
I am the father of an amazing kid.