Jean Oliver is currently an Adjunct Professor at New York City's New School University and a Teaching Artist in the strings program at the Noel Pointer Foundation, where she also served as Artistic Director from 2009-Spring 2013). Since 2001, Jean's academic interests have focused on music related entertainment products (such as CDs, music videos and film soundtracks) and their use in the lives of youth and displaced people. Currently, she is researching the use of hip-hop and reggae/dancehall as a means of expression among youth in Southern Italy.
A classically trained violist and double bassist, Jean has worked with an eclectic array of artists including David Byrne of the Talking Heads, Eartha Kitt, Yo-Yo Ma, Wunmi, Enzo Gragnaniello and Italian rappers La Famiglia. She spent 6 years with the NYC based down-tempo outfit SiSe with whom she recorded two albums including their self-titled debut and sophomore effort "More Shine", which was engineered by friend Bonsai Caruso (of Damian Marley "Jamrock" fame).
Born and raised in New York City to Jamaican and Barbadian parents Jean lives between Naples, Italy and New York with her two children and husband Director/Artist/MC Alberto Polo Cretara. Jean maintains an active international schedule that includes teaching violin in the Brooklyn Public schools, acting as a production coordinator/project assistant for the creative agency Polemics and working as a freelance violist.
Reggae, Media & Representation
Music, Media, Society