Skip to School of Contemporary Arts (CA) site navigationSkip to main content

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Virtual Tour

Associate Professor of Music / Musicology

Year Joined RCNJ: 2010

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., Harvard University
  • M.A., Tufts University
  • B.S., University of Oregon

Courses Offered:

Research Interests:

  • Afro-Brazilian Religious Music
  • Brazilian Music in New York
  • Music in Transnational Brazilian Communities
  • Social Interaction in Collective Musical Improvisation
  • Music and Community Development


  • Spirit Song: Afro-Brazilian Religious Music and Boundaries (Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • “Transnationalising Brazilian ritual music: Quimbanda in Argentina and Charismatic Catholicism in the USA,” Civilisations vol. 67, “Sounding religious transnationalism” (2018)
  • “Catholic Music in Lusophone New Jersey: Circum-Atlantic Music, Intergroup Dynamics, and Immigrant Struggles in Transnational Communities,” American Music 34/2 (2016)
  • “Musical Boundary-Work: Ethnomusicology, Symbolic Boundary Studies, and Music in the Afro-Gaucho Religious Community of Southern Brazil,” Ethnomusicology 58/1 (2014)
  • “Musical and Spiritual Innovation, Participation, and Control in Umbanda and Quimbanda Religions of Brazil,” Ethnomusicology Forum 22/2 (2013)
  • “Contemporary ‘Latin American’ Composers of Art Music in the United States: Cosmopolitans Navigating Multiculturalism and Universalism,” Latin American Music Review, 31/1 (2010)
  • “Symbolic Associations” and “Spiritualism and Spiritism” in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Music and Culture, ed. by Janet L. Sturman (SAGE Publications, 2019)
  • “Flutes and Violins, Bossa Nova and Jazz Swing: Arranging Jobim in the United States,” book chapter in Brazil’s Northern Wave: Fifty Years of Bossa Nova in the United States, edited by Jason Stanyek and Frederick Moehn, Oxford University Press, under contract
  • “Review Essay: for Ethnomusicology,” Yearbook for Traditional Music, 40 (2008)

Conference Presentations:

  • “Multiple Swing Feels in Hybrid Music: Evaluating Microtimings of Brazilian and North American Swing Feels in Brazilian Jazz,” Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Annual Conference, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, March 7, 2020
  • Panel co-organizer: “Recontexualizing Afro-Latin Religious Music”; presenter: “Recontextualizing Candomblé music and dance in collegiate workshops in the U.S.,” Latin American Studies Association, Boston, May 26, 2019
  • “Structurally Compatible, Stylistically Distinct: Cultivating Bossa Nova/Samba Jazz in New York City’s Jazz Scene,” Global Musics and Musical Communities Conference, UCLA, May 11, 2019
  • “Comparing the transnationlization of religious ritual music: two Brazilian case studies,” Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology Conference, University of Maryland, College Park, March 25, 2018
  • “Jorge Continentino’s Pifanology: Collective Improvisation of Roots-Based Brazilian Music in Greenwich Village,” Society for Ethnomusicology, Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., November 11, 2016
  • “Southern Sounds of Ogum: Music, Ethnicity, and Afro-Brazilian Religions in Rio Grande do Sul,” Brazilian Studies Association, International Congress, Brown University, April 2, 2016
  • “Miho and ‘Mamiko’ in Brazil: Japanese-Brazilian Musical Collaborations and Representations via New York City,” Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Annual Conference, University of Virginia, March 6, 2016; and Latin American Studies Association, Annual Congress, New York City, May 27-30, 2016
  • “Porous Boundaries in a Divided Ironbound: Brazilian Catholic Music in the Lusophone Churches of Newark, New Jersey,” Latin American Studies Association, Annual Congress, Chicago, May 22, 2014
  • Axé, Vibration, and Religious Work: Conceptualizing Musical Contributions to Batuque and Umbanda Religions in Southern Brazil,” Society for Ethnomusicology, Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana, November 14, 2013
  • “Discomfort, accessibility, and intercultural competence when an Afro-Brazilian folkloric ensemble comes to campus in suburban America,” First International Symposium on Latin American Music, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, February 22, 2013
  • Panel presenter, “50 Years of Bossa Nova in the United States,” American Musicological Society, Society for Ethnomusicology, and Society for Music Theory, Joint Annual Meeting, New Orleans, November 1, 2012
  • “Audible Boundary-Work: ‘Crossing’ and ‘Purifying’ Afro-Gaucho Religions through Sound and Music,” Society for Ethnomusicology and Congress on Research in Dance, Joint Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, November 20, 2011
  • Panel Co-organizer: “Other Brazils: Musicians Renegotiating Tensions in the Peripheries”; presenter: “Controlling Syncretism while Embracing Eclecticism: Boundary-work and the Mono-directional Flow of Music in Afro-Gaucho Religion,” Society for Ethnomusicology, Annual Conference, Los Angeles, November 11-14, 2010
  • Panel Co-organizer: “Roma and their Spirits in Brazil: Exclusion and Empowerment”; coordinated colleagues from Brazil, Germany, and the U.S.; presenter: “Flamenco Pop as Liturgical Music: Transnational Symbols, Self-Essentializing, and Romani-Brazilian Empowerment in a Public Umbanda Celebration,” Latin American Studies Association, Annual Congress, Toronto, Canada, October 2010
  • “Leveraging Diasporas Locally: Musical Innovation, Self-Essentializing, and Race Politics in Umbanda Celebrations from Southern Brazil,” Society for Ethnomusicology, Annual Conference, Mexico City, November, 2009
  • Pomba Gira as Alabê in the Quimbanda Religion: evolving spirits, changing musical participation, and challenging hierarchies in southern Brazil,” Latin American Studies Association, Annual Congress, Rio de Janeiro, June, 2009
  • Panel organize:, “Musical Interaction and Time in Afro-Latin Religious Performance”; presenter, “Exu as Alabê: transforming Quimbanda performance and challenging religious hierarchies in southern Brazil,” Society for Ethnomusicology, Annual Conference, Wesleyan University, October 2008
  • “Listening for Place, Marketing Identity: Latin American Composers of New Music in the U.S.” Institute of Latin American Studies Student Association, Annual Conference, University of Texas at Austin, February 2007
  • “Jam Sessions in the Boston Improvisation Scene: Building and Binding a Musical Community with Free Improvisation,” Society for Ethnomusicology, Annual Conference, University of Hawaii at Manoa, November 2006
  • Didá Escola de Música and Afro-Bahian Women’s Empowerment,” International Association for the Study of Popular Music, U.S. Branch, Annual Conference, University of Virginia, November 2004

Invited Publications and Presentations:

  • Liner notes for “Pensar Geométrico al Trasluz” (flute, cello, percussion) by Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann, in Just in Time Now and Then, Living Artist Recordings, Vol. 13 (2009)
  • “Culture as Resource for Community Development or Culturalisms? Case Studies of Afro-Brazilian Music,” presented to Barr Foundation Fellows (community leaders), Boston, April 28, 2009
  • Pomba gira como alabê: mudanças na música e participaçã na Quimbanda e nas hierarquias musicais no sul do Brasil,” presented in Portuguese, I Jornada de Etnomusicologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 2008
  • Pre-concert talks on contemporary Latin American art music, The Juilliard School and Harvard University, May 2006

Selected Awards, Fellowships, and Grants:

  • Whiting Dissertation Completion Fellowship in the Humanities, Whiting Foundation, 2009-10
  • John F. Loeb Fellowship, Harvard Divinity School, 2009
  • William Mitch Fund Award, Harvard University, 2005-06, 2008-09
  • Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, 2007-08
  • Jorge Paulo Lemann Fellowship, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, 2007-08
Ramapo College of New Jersey recognizes the value of publishing on the Internet. The College does not preview, review, censor, or control the content of these pages in any way as a matter of course. This page and Web pages linked from this page are created by the authors, and do not in any way constitute official Ramapo College of New Jersey content.