I believe that composing, performing, writing, listening, and discussing are interrelated ways of engaging with music, and I work to cultivate this way of thinking among my students. I am a scholar of American music, race and ethnicity, immigration, Iranian and Central Asian repertoires, and Jewish musical life around the world. These many research aims came together in my first book, Greeted with Smiles: Bukharian Jewish Music and Musicians in New York (2014), on the musical life of Jewish immigrants from Central Asia at the beginning of the twenty-first century. My second book, Damaged: Musicality and Race in Early American Punk (2020), is an in-depth exploration of early punk's musical style as well as the ways in which punk was shaped by—and shaped—racial formations in the 1970s. I am a saxophonist and composer, and my classes often combine making music and seminar discussions. For example, in my recurring course on punk, students play with punk approaches in small bands; discuss punk's history with respect to race, class, and gender; and listen to nearly two hundred musical selections. I am also dedicated to civic engagement, and I have developed several courses in partnership with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, bringing New School students together with artists from New York's Haitian, Colombian, Bukharian Jewish, and Sri Lankan communities.
PhD, Music (Ethnomusicology), CUNY Graduate Center
MA, Music, CUNY
BMus, (Jazz Composition), Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Society for Ethnomusicology
Society for American Music
American Musicological Society
International Council for Traditional Music
Damaged: Musicality and Race in Early American Punk (University Press of Mississippi, 2020)
Greeted with Smiles: Bukharian Jewish Music and Musicians in New York (Oxford University Press, 2014)
“Repertoire and the Lives of Jewish Professional Musicians: Ezro Malakov from Uzbekistan and Al Drootin from Volhynia.” Musica Judaica 22, 2018/2019
“International Popular Music Styles and Contemporary Bukharian Jewish Identity.” Journal of Jewish Identities 10(1), January 2017
"Prosodic Rhythm in Jewish Sacred Music: Examples from the Persian-Speaking World," Asian Music 47(1), January 2016
“Hearing Punk as Blues.” Popular Music 33(1), January 2014
“New York: Ethnic Music.” The Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd ed., edited by Charles Hiroshi Garrett (Oxford University Press, 2013)
“Performance Styles of a Bukharian Singer.” In Garment and Core: Jews and their Musical Experiences, edited by Eitan Avitsur, Marina Ritzarev, and Edwin Seroussi, 101–112 (Bar Ilan University), 2012
“Bill Finegan’s Gershwin Arrangements and the American Concept of Hybridity.” Journal of the Society for American Music 2(4), November 2008
Critical Minded: New Approaches to Hip Hop Studies, co-edited with Ellie M. Hisama (Institute for Studies in American Music), 2005
Intersections of composition and improvisation; music of Iran, Central Asia, and the United States; issues of ethnicity, race, and diaspora
Awards And Honors
Distinguished Teaching Award, The New School (university-wide), 2020.
H. Earle Johnson subvention award (Society for American Music) for Damaged, 2020.
American Musicological Society subvention award for Damaged, 2020.
Center for Popular Music Studies / Rock and Roll Hall of Fame research fellowship, 2016.
Harry Starr Fellowship in Judaica, Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University, 2012-2013.
Dorot Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University, 2007-2008.
Goldie and David Blanksteen Dissertation Award in Jewish Studies, Center for Jewish Studies (CUNY), 2006.