• Profile:

    Whitney Slaten is a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology, saxophonist and sound engineer. His forthcoming dissertation Doing Sound: An Ethnography of Fidelity, Temporality and Labor among Live Sound Engineers examines the relationships between technological and social examples of fidelity within the context of professional live sound reinforcement engineering. His publications appear in Souls, Current Musicology, and Ethnomusicology Review. Slaten’s research has been a part of his work as a live sound reinforcement and recording engineer dedicated to understanding relationships between the “cultivated” and the “vernacular” that encode reproductions of musical sound, as well as the experiences of music makers and listeners. He has designed courses about sound at Columbia, William Paterson and Seton Hall University. His course designed was awarded with a Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Summer Teaching Fellowship. Slaten has provided live sound reinforcement engineering services to Jazzmobile, a not-for-profit organization that produces outdoor professional jazz performances throughout neighborhoods in Harlem and various communities in New York City.  He also records and archives the rare American keyboard instruments of Artis Wodehouse, as well as her performances of the music of early American composers.  As a saxophonist, Slaten has performed with artists including Babatunde Olatunji and Clark Terry, as well as ensembles under his own direction.


    Degrees Held:

    Ph.D., Columbia University 2016

    M.Phil., Columbia University


    M.A., Columbia University


    B.Mus., William Paterson University

    Professional Affiliations:

    Society for Ethnomusicology

    International Association for the Study of Popular Music

    Audio Engineering Society

    Recent Publications:

    2014. Review of Unfree Masters: Recording Artists and the Politics of Work. Matt Stahl Ethnomusicology Review Volume 18 (2013).

    2011. “Representing Recording Studios of the Past: A Review Essay” Current Musicology 91: 167-184.

    2008. Review of Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae Michael Veal SOULS Journal 10 (Spring): 187-189. 


    Performances And Appearances:

    Clark Terry Big Band, 2004-2009

    The Whitney Slaten Project 2002-2007

    Emperor Adichie and the Afro Jungle Funk Band, 2004-2006

    African Brothers Collective, 2003-2005

    William Paterson Jazz Combo, 2002-2003

    Babatunde Olatunji, 2001-2003

    Research Interests:

    ethnography, sound studies, world music, music and technology, jazz, labor studies

    Awards And Honors:

    Dissertation Fellowship, Columbia University

    Summer Teaching Fellowship, Columbia University

    Faculty Fellowship, Columbia University

    Outstanding Soloist Award, New Jersey IAJE State Competition

    Congressional Appointment, West Point Military Academy

    Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America


    Current Courses:

    Ind Senior Project