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Bios and news items for graduate students

Ryan Skinner publishes "Sidikiba's Kora Lesson"

Columbia ethnomusicology PhD student Ryan Skinner has just published his first children's book: Sidikiba's Kora Lesson.

Ten year-old Sidikiba is about to be initiated into the world of the kora, a twenty-one stringed West African harp performed by his family for seventy generations. To become a kora player, like his father and grandfather before him, Sidikiba must honor and respect the wisdom of his elders, trust in the mystical secrets of his community, and, above all else, be patient and practice hard...

Sidikiba's Kora Lesson is the story of a child's encounter with a rich cultural heritage set in a modern African city, where learning to balance the new and the old is part of growing up. Through sound, pictures, and text, Sidikiba's Kora Lesson comes alive for readers and music lovers of all ages!

For more information and to purchase Sidikiba's Kora Lesson please visit:

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Panel Discussion in Los Angeles, CA - 1986 Mixtape: How American Music Played Out Through the End of the 1980s.

Saturday, September 20

3:00 PM

Panel Discussion:

1986 Mixtape: How American Music played out through the end of the 1980s.

A roundtable in connection with Matt Keegan's solo show "Now's the Time."

Panelists: Tammy Rae Carland, Cheryl Keyes, Alan Licht, David Novak (moderator), Dave Muller.

Anna Helwing Gallery

2766 S. La Cienega Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90034-2642

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Auditions for 2008-2009 Columbia University Bluegrass Ensemble, "Lion in the Grass"

"Lion in the Grass," Columbia's bluegrass ensemble was founded at Columbia in 2004, and has achieved a strong reputation on campus and in the community. Lion in the Grass plays at many campus functions throughout the year, and at neighborhood venues as well.

Toby King is the band's director, and can be reached at:  Auditions will be held Friday, September 5th, at 4:00 PM, in Dodge 112. (Enter Dodge from College Walk, not from the main entrance on the third floor).
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Congratulations to Morgan Luker, Andy Eisenberg and Brian Karl!

Congratulations to Ethnomusicology PhD student Morgan Luker, who has accepted a position as a lecturer in Ethnomusicology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Morgan will be teaching two undergraduate ethnomusicology courses and the graduate proseminar in ethnomusicology.

Congratulations to Ethnomusicology PhD student Brian Karl who has accepted a position as a lecturer in Anthropology at Colby College.

Congratulations to Ethnomusicology PhD student Andy Eisenberg, who has accepted a position as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Stony Brook University.  read more »

MACSEM 2008 STARTS TOMORROW! (Saturday, March 30)



Please click here to view important current information, directions, program, and more.

The Center for Ethnomusicology's community welcomes all our guests!

LOCATION INFORMATION: All events will be held in the Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research (CEPSR) on Columbia University's Morningside Campus. All of the paper presentations as well as the Saturday-night concert will be held in Davis Auditorium (Room 412, but it's on the ground floor), and the lunch-time film screening will be held in the same building, downstairs in the Sindeband Conference Room (Room 414). Getting to campus using public transportation is easy. The 1 train stops at 116th Street, just outside the Columbia gates. The M60 bus from LaGuardia Airport, the M104 bus, and the M4 bus also all stop outside the gates. This link:

shows Schapiro highlighted among other buildings on campus. It is worth pointing out that Schapiro is NOT accessible from 120th Street. To get to the building, you will have to enter the campus at 116th Street and Broadway or 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. From either of these entrances, walk towards the middle of campus and then turn north up the stairs, towards the domed building (Low Library). You'll have to walk around Low and then around the building behind it (Uris). Walk all the way past Uris to the Schapiro Center. There are maps and signs all over campus.  read more »

MACSEM 2008 Featured Performers: Lucia Pulido and Cosmas Magaya with Paul Berliner

We are pleased to announce that Lucía Pulido and Cosmas Magaya with Paul Berliner will be performing at MACSEM 2008 on Saturday, March 29th at 7:30 PM.


Lucia Pulido Lucía Pulido is a Colombian singer who has been in New York since 1994. Prior to arriving in New York, Ms. Pulido toured and recorded as half of "Ivan y Lucía." Since then, she has recorded multiple albums with other artists as well as a solo album (Lucía, Intuition 2000), and has performed all over the city. Among other projects, she is currently a member of the Palenque Ensemble, which interprets traditional Colombian genres through an experimental lens. Visit her website at for more information.
Cosmas Magaya

Cosmas Magaya is a world-renowned mbira player and teacher from Zimbabwe who has played and taught all over the world alone and with his ensembles, Mhuri yekwaRwizi and Zimbabwe Group Leaders Mbira Ensemble.  read more »

Paul Berliner is an mbira player and professor of music at Duke University. He is the author of The Soul of Mbira: Music and Traditions of the Shona People of Zimbabwe (University of Chicago Press, 1978) and has been collaborating and studying with Mr. Magaya since 1971. More information about Cosmas Magaya is available at the website of the Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center. Paul Berliner's CV is available from the Music Department at Duke University.

MASCEM 2008: Call For Papers

For more information about MACSEM 2008 at Columbia University, please click here.

The Program Committee for MACSEM/2008 invites proposals for individually presented papers, organized panels of 4 paper presentations, film screenings (limited to 30 minutes), and practical workshops (30 or 60 minutes). We encourage submissions from graduate students, independent scholars, and faculty from both within and beyond ethnomusicology. While there is no thematic restriction on submission, the program committee would like to encourage proposals with an emphasis on interdisciplinary applications of musical ethnography, especially. The deadline for electronic submission of proposals and abstracts is JANUARY 15, 2008.  read more »

News from the Graduate Program in Ethnomusicology (Summer 2007)

News and congratulations from our graduate program:

1) Congratulations to Brian Karl, who has won a summer field research grant from the Middle East Institute at Columbia, and a dissertation fellowship from the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia (ISERP).

2) Congratulations to Farzaneh Hemmasi, just back from fieldwork in Toronto and LA, who has also been awarded an ISERP dissertation fellowship, and a Lane Cooper Dissertation Fellowship from the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

3) Congratulations to Matthew Sakakeeny, who has been awarded a Whiting Dissertation Fellowship from the Columbia University GSAS, and who has been offered a tenure-track position in music at Tulane University for 2008-9

4) Congratulations to Andrew Eisenberg, who has been offered a one-year position in music at Northwestern University while he's finishing up his dissertation next year. Andy's work has also been featured prominently on the new "Columbia and the World" website.  read more »

Four Fellows Chosen for Summer Gagaku Program in Tokyo

Gagaku Summer Fellows

Gagaku Ensemble featured in Asian Diversity Magazine

The Columbia Gagaku Ensemble is featured in Asian Diversity magazine on Dec. 5, 2006.