Presenters’ Biographies

Jeremy Yudkin is Professor of Music and Chair of the Musicology and Ethnomusicology Department at Boston University, and Associated Faculty of the Program in African American Studies and of the Department of Judaic Studies. From 2006-2010 he was also Visiting Professor of Music at Oxford University, and he has taught as Visiting Professor at Harvard University and as Professeur Invité at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Musique in Paris, France. Dr. Yudkin received his BA and MA from Cambridge University in Classics and Modern Languages and his PhD in Historical Musicology from Stanford University. Professor Yudkin’s principal fields of research include medieval music, early Beethoven, popular music, and jazz. He is the author of eight books including The Lenox School of Jazz: A Vital Chapter in the History of American Music and Race Relations (2006); and Miles Davis, Miles Smiles, and the Invention of Post-Bop (2009), which won an Award for Excellence in Historical Sound Research from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. He is perhaps best known for his definitive textbook Music in Medieval Europe and his highly successful music appreciation textbook Understanding Music. His most recent article (on Kind of Blue) has just appeared in the Musical Quarterly.

Alexandre Abdoulaev is currently on the faculty of Lasell College (Newton, Massachusetts), and works in the performing arts as a music director, researcher, and pianist, specializing in classical performance, musical theatre and cabaret, and jazz studies. Previously, he held faculty postings at such institutions as the Holton-Arms School, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and Washington National Opera. In addition to an active performance schedule as a classical and jazz pianist, Mr. Abdoulaev has published a book on musical aesthetics of the Middle Ages, and is actively engaged in research on topics including Neoclassicism in French music during the World War I period, and partnered jazz dance in Harlem, New York during the interbellum period.

Musicologist and pianist, Eunmi Shim is the award-winning author of Lennie Tristano: His Life in Music (University of Michigan Press, 2007), which received the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound and the Bronze Prize for the Independent Publisher Book Award in Performing Arts. Shim is also a contributor to The Grove Dictionary of American Music and is currently Associate Professor of Music at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Steven Cornelius (B.M.Ed., University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.M., Manhattan School of Music; Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles) is Visiting Professor of Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and African Studies at Boston University. Dr. Cornelius’ research focuses on the African diaspora, the music industry, and American music. He is the co-author (with Mary Natvig) of the textbook Music: A Social Experience (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011). Other books include Music of the Civil War Era (Greenwood Press, 2004) and The Music of Santería: Traditional Rhythms of the Batá Drums (co-authored with John Amira, White Cliffs Media, 1991). Articles have appeared in Latin American Music Review, College Music Symposium, and other journals, as well as The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. He served from 1996 to 2006 as music and dance critic for The Blade, Toledo, Ohio’s daily newspaper. Previous teaching positions include Bruckner-Konservatorium Linz, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Bowling Green State University.

Lewis Porter (PhD, Brandeis, 1983) is a jazz pianist, an author, a Professor of Music at Rutgers University in Newark since 1986, and founder and director of the Master’s Program in Jazz History and Research there since Fall 1997. A leading scholar and historian of all eras of jazz, he has dedicated his career to raising the standards of jazz scholarship, and to mentoring young scholars worldwide and in his Master’s program. Before 1986, he taught full-time at Tufts, and part-time at Brandeis (while earning his PhD there in music history, which he received in 1983). He has also taught part-time at the New School, Manhattan School of Music, Jazz At Lincoln Center, and as a guest at numerous colleges in the US and Europe. He is an author or coauthor of seven books and numerous articles on jazz, and a consultant to record producers, publishers, and producers of jazz radio shows and films. He is a frequent guest on radio (NPR, WNYC, WBGO, etc.), often quoted in print (NY Times, Star Ledger, etc.) and occasionally appears on TV and film (BET, BBC). He was Jazz Talk moderator for 2006-9 at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he organized and led four panels a year. He made numerous media appearances in 2005 about his role in researching and releasing the Monk/Coltrane Carnegie Hall recording. He was nominated for a Grammy in 1996 (under Best Historical Reissue) for his role in producing the boxed set of Coltrane’s Atlantic Recordings. Dr. Porter has performed and recorded extensively as a pianist and bandleader, and composes everything from leadsheets to works for orchestra and soloists.

Kelsey Klotz is currently in her second year of doctoral study in musicology at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to her work in musicology, she is also pursuing a certificate in American Culture Studies. She graduated from Truman State University in 2010 with a B.A. in Music, emphasis in Piano (summa cum laude). She also received the outstanding undergraduate music student award. Prior to coming to Washington University, Ms. Klotz received a grant to design and teach a course at Truman State University she titled Perspectives in Music:  The Liberal Arts, which reflected her interests in the intersections between music and other disciplines. She has presented her research at regional and national College Music Society conferences. Her academic interests include the confluence of classical and jazz music, particularly in the 1950s and 60s, and with an emphasis on the music of Dave Brubeck.

Sarah Perkins is a PhD student in English literature at Stanford University. She is currently working on her dissertation, a cultural biography of the song, “Dixie.” As an American Studies scholar, she has always valued interdisciplinary work and is especially interested in the way literature informs and is informed by popular culture and music.

Maya C. Gibson earned her BA (English and Black Studies) and BM (Vocal Performance) from Oberlin College and Conservatory. She earned her MA degrees (Afro-American Studies and Musicology) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also earned her PhD in Musicology. She has been the recipient of a Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship from the American Musicological Society, a Predoctoral Fellowship from the Ford Foundation, and a Mellon-Sawyer Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research and teaching interests explore the interconnections and inter-relationships among Afro-American music (especially jazz), popular music, and issues concerning race, gender, and sexuality. She has contributed extensively on black American gospel and blues topics in The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd edition, forthcoming), and is currently writing a book on the music, life, legacy, and historical reception of the jazz vocalist Billie Holiday.

Thomas Peattie holds a PhD in historical musicology from Harvard University as well as an MA (musicology) and a BMus (composition) from the University of Calgary. He joined the faculty of Boston University in 2003 and served as Chair of the Department of Musicology from 2004-5. During the spring of 2006 he held the position of Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Harvard University. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Boston University Humanities Foundation. His research focuses on the music of Gustav Mahler, fin-de-siècle urban culture, and notions of space and theatricality in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century symphonic music. In addition to an essay in the collection Mahler and his World (Princeton, 2002), he has recently published articles in Naturlaut (2010), Acta musicologica (2011), and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association (2011). He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Gustav Mahler’s Abstract Theater.

Mark Harvey is a composer, trumpeter, and founder/music director of the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, now celebrating its 39th season.  Many of his works address issues of politics and culture, some of them represented among Aardvark’s eleven CD recordings on the Leo, Nine Winds, and Aardmuse labels.  He has performed and recorded with George Russell (Blue Note) and Baird Hersey’s Year of the Ear (Arista/Novus) and has appeared with Geri Allen, Jaki Byard, Gil Evans, Jimmy Giuffre, Sheila Jordan, Howard McGhee, Sam Rivers, Claudio Roditi, and others.  Harvey teaches jazz studies at MIT and writes and lectures widely on jazz, American music, and the relations among music, religion, and culture.  He holds degrees from Syracuse University (A.B.) and Boston University (Th.M., Ph.D). He is also a United Methodist minister long engaged in community activism on the Boston jazz scene.

Heather Buffington Anderson is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a B.M. in viola performance from the University of Northern Colorado (2008), and an M.M. in musicology from King’s College London (2010). While pursuing her Master’s in London, Heather was part of a jazz string quartet that performed an educational concert series at Wigmore Hall. Heather’s research interests center around music of the Civil Rights Movement, particularly the protest songs of Nina Simone. She worked closely with the Nina Simone Foundation and Bemba Entertainment, directing a tribute concert in the artist’s honor in 2011.

Andrew Shenton is a scholar, prize-winning author, performer and educator based in Boston, Massachusetts. Born in England, he first studied at The Royal College of Music in London, and holds bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees from London University, Yale and Harvard respectively. He has toured extensively in Europe and the US as a conductor, recitalist and clinician, and his two solo organ recordings have received international acclaim. He has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards including a Harvard Merit Fellowship, and Harvard’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching and a Junior Fellowship from the Humanities Foundation at Boston University. His teaching specialties include sacred music, sacred art, performance practice, twentieth- and twenty-first century music, Olivier Messiaen, Arvo Pärt, and music of the world’s religions. Dr. Shenton is Associate Professor of Music at Boston University, Artistic Director of the Boston Choral Ensemble and Director of Music at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Weston, MA.

Nancy Kovaleff Baker has taught Music History at Yale and Columbia Universities, and, for the past thirty years, has been an academic administrator at various institutions.  Her publications include Introductory Essay on Composition:  The Mechanical Rules of Melody and Aesthetics and the Art of Musical Composition in the German Enlightenment, which are translations of Heinrich Christoph Koch’s Versuch einer Anleitung zur Composition.  She co-edited the volume Musical Humanism and Its Legacy:  Essays in Honor of Claude V. Palisca and has written numerous articles on the theory and aesthetics of eighteenth- and

Judith Tick is a music historian specializing in American music and women’s history. A Matthews Distinguished University Professor in the College of Arts, Media and Design at Northeastern University, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004 as an “innovator in the field of musical biography.” She is writing a biography of Ella Fitzgerald and recently received a grant from the NEH for this project.

Panayotis League is an M.A. candidate in Ethnomusicology at Boston University. As a researcher and performer, he specializes in the traditional music and dance of the Greek Aegean, especially the islands of Kalymnos and Crete. He has performed widely throughout Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Europe, and the Americas, and been featured on over 100 recordings. His article “Rewriting Unwritten History: Folklore, Nationalism, and the Ban of the Cretan Violin” is being published this spring by Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in a Festschrift in honor of Lily Macrakis, and his English translation of Greek folklorist Nikolaos Nitsos’ “Monograph on the Village of Tsamantas, Epirus” in soon to be published by Melissa Books. Mr. League teaches Modern Greek Studies and Music at Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts, and directs the Boston University Greek Ensemble.