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I’m a musicologist by training, an educator by profession, and an Africanist by choice. My background in percussion and voice has informed most of those pathways, but I thoroughly enjoy playing and teaching a variety of string instruments. My primary research focuses on the music of Ugandan traditional healers. In addition to general interests in music, culture, and healing, some of my specific teaching interests include African music, Caribbean music, popular music, and choral music. I have recently left Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina for a return to my Midwestern roots. I am thrilled to be working with Grinnell College, where this fall I’ll be teaching a Ugandan music and dance ensemble and a popular music course, among other duties.
I am committed to performance as an essential component of research and teaching. My research in Uganda has involved in-depth study of several instruments from drums to indigenous strings with numerous musicians, most notably Damascus Kafumbe and Ssematimba Frank Sibyangu. As a jazz drummer, I have performed with Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Etienne Charles, Roland Guerin, Jason Marsalis, Marcus Printup, Marcus Roberts, and a number of other artists. I have studied merengue and salsa with two Dominican artists, Maestro Dr. Juan-Ramón Guzman and percussion phenom Julio Figueroa. As a singer, I have performed and studied with choral music luminary Weston Noble, and I worked for six years as a staff singer at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Tallahassee. Playing and singing remain at the heart of what I do every day in the classroom, in the field, in the office, and at home.