Jason Stanyek

Faculty Bio

Professor Stanyek was recently Visiting Associate Professor at Harvard University and External Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. Before coming to NYU, he was Assistant Professor at the University of Richmond and a Fellow at the University of California Humanities Research Institute. He received a Ph.D. (Critical Studies and Experimental Practices) and an M.A. (Composition) from the University of California, San Diego where he pursued his studies under the guidance of George E. Lewis. He attended Brooklyn College as an undergraduate and from that institution he received a B.M. (summa cum laude) in composition.

Dr. Stanyek has published on subjects ranging from Brazilian hip hop to Pan-African jazz, from improvisation to posthumous duets. He is currently completing an ethnographic monograph on Brazilian diasporic performance and is co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music Studies with Sumanth Gopinath. In 2011, "Deadness: Technologies of the Intermundane," an essay co-written with Benjamin Piekut, was awarded the "Outstanding Essay Award" by the Association for Theater in Higher Education.

He recently edited (with Alessandra Santos) an interdisciplinary issue of the journal Critical Studies in Improvisation entitled "Brazilian Improvisations/Improvisações Brasileiras" (available at http://www.criticalimprov.com/public/csi/index.html). In summer 2008, he was guest producer for an hour-long radio show called "The Brazilian Diaspora in the United States" for Public Radio International's long-running program "Afropop Worldwide" (available online at: http://www.afropop.org).

He is on the advisory board of Critical Studies in Improvisation and he just completed his three-year term as the Multimedia Reviews Editor of the Journal for the Society of American Music. He is a member of the international research team for a major collaborative project entitled, "Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice" (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada).

As a teacher he gives graduate seminars and undergraduate classes on Brazilian music, sonic culture, critical theory, global hip hop, musics of the African diaspora, world music, new media, ethnographic method and the history of ethnomusicology. He serves as a member of the faculty at the California Brazil Camp in Cazadero, California, where he teaches pagode and cavaquinho.

Also active as a performer and composer, he has released two CDs as a guitarist with the improvisation quartet O'Keefe, Stanyek, Walton, and Whitehead and served as an assistant conductor for the premiere recording of Anthony Davis's opera Tania. He played cavaquinho and berimbau on the CD Da Rua Dos Ossos by Juju Duarte (Art Hurts, 2006). Dr. Stanyek's compositions have been performed worldwide and he has composed music for dance productions and films (including Thomas Allen Harris's É Minha Cara/That's My Face: A Mythopoetic Film Exploring the African Face of Brazil).

Assistant Professor of Music Ph.D. (Critical Studies and Experimental Practices) and M.A. (Composition) from the University of California, San Diego; B.M. (Composition), Brooklyn College

Areas of Research/Interest

Brazilian music; technologies of popular music; global hip hop; diasporic performance.

External Affiliations

Advisory board of Critical Studies in Improvisation

Select Publications
  • "Nuances of Continual Variation in the Brazilian Pagode Song 'Sorriso Aberto'" (co-written with Fabio Oliveira). Analytical and Cross-Cultural Studies in World Music. Michael Tenzer and John Roeder, editors. Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • "Choro do Norte: Improvising the Transregional Roda in the United States." The Luso-Brazilian Review 48.1 (Summer 2011): 100-129.
  • "'A Thread that Connects the Worlds': Ovoid Logics and the Contradictory Lines of Force of Brazilian Improvisations." Critical Studies in Improvisation 7.1 (2011): 1-21.
  • "Deadness: Technologies of the Intermundane" (co-written with Benjamin Piekut). The Drama Review 54.1 (Spring 2010): 14-38.
  • "Hip Hop and Black Public Spheres in Cuba, Venezuela, and Brazil" (co-written with Sujatha Fernandes). In Beyond Slavery: The Multilayered Legacy of Africans in Latin American and the Caribbean, 2006.
  • "Transmissions of an Interculture: Pan-African Jazz and Intercultural Improvisation," in The Other Side of Nowhere: Jazz, Improvisation and Communities in Dialogue, 2004.