Graduate Students

David Aarons UWDavid Aarons
David Aarons is an Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy MA stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Washington’s School of Music. He hails from the island of Jamaica where he grew up play­ing the steel­pan. He received a Mas­ter of Music degree in steel pan per­for­mance from North­ern Illi­nois Uni­ver­sity in 2012, where he stud­ied with pro­fes­sors Liam Teague and Cliff Alexis. He also holds a Bach­e­lor of Arts in Music degree from the Uni­ver­sity of the West Indies, St. Augus­tine, Trinidad and Tobago in 2008. His research inter­ests include music in the Caribbean and issues sur­round­ing encul­tur­a­tion, iden­tity and com­mu­nity.  He enjoys per­form­ing with, and arrang­ing for var­i­ous steel­bands in his spare time.

Julia Day UWJulia Day
Julia Day is a doc­toral stu­dent in Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton. Her cur­rent research inter­ests address the flu­id­ity of pop­u­lar music for cre­at­ing transna­tional net­works between pop­u­la­tions in West Africa, Europe, and North Amer­ica. She became inter­ested in African pop­u­lar music while liv­ing and work­ing in Mali as a Peace Corps health edu­ca­tor. Julia has also stud­ied the rela­tion­ship between pop­u­lar music and sociopo­lit­i­cal cri­sis in Côte d’Ivoire as well as West African immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties in France and Canada. She is hon­ored to have received four FLAS (For­eign Lan­guage and Area Stud­ies) fel­low­ships from the UW Canada Cen­ter and the Grad­u­ate School Inter­na­tional Boe­ing Fel­low­ship to sup­port her research. In the past, Julia has pre­sented on the Gam­bian kora player Jali Nyama Suso, Malian ngoni vir­tu­oso Bassekou Kouy­até, semi­otics and the South African World Cup Anthems, pop­u­lar music and cri­sis in Côte d’Ivoire, the Bol­ly­wood film music and dance scene in Port­land, OR, and taiko in the Seat­tle Japan­ese Amer­i­can community.

Andre Elias UWAndre Elias
Andre Elias (guitar/voice) is an avid com­poser and per­former of a vari­ety of gui­tar styles (fla­menco, clas­si­cal, metal), of Indian Clas­si­cal music (tabla, sitar, sarod, nagara), and of per­cus­sion from West-Africa, Cuba, and the Mid­dle East. He is pur­su­ing a Ph.D. in Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton and con­cur­rently com­plet­ing an MA in the Jack­son School of Inter­na­tional Stud­ies’ South Asia pro­gram. His research inter­ests range from pop­u­lar to clas­si­cal music in India, Spain and the Amer­i­cas. The areas of his aca­d­e­mic focus include the­o­ret­i­cal issues such as dias­poric dis­place­ment, iden­tity, meta­physics, spir­i­tu­al­ity, vio­lence, nation­al­ism, and cross-cultural ped­a­gog­i­cal issues in music. In the last few years, he has spent a con­sid­er­able amount of time trav­el­ing to South Asia and learn­ing Indic lan­guages for his dis­ser­ta­tion research on tra­di­tions of Indian slide-guitar. With famil­ial roots in Cal­i­for­nia and Chile, Andre con­sid­ers the west coast his home. He can be reached at Some record­ings of his music are avail­able at his Myspace page.

Hilary Johnson UWHilary John­son 
Hilary John­son, a grad­u­ate stu­dent in Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Washington’s School of Music, devel­oped an early love for sounds. Born and raised in the Seat­tle area, her self-education in early MGM musi­cals and Ella Fitzger­ald was sup­ple­mented by par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Seat­tle Girls’ Choir, and school jazz bands as a bari­tone sax­o­phone player and vocal­ist.  At the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, where she majored in Jazz Stud­ies, she con­tin­ued to per­form and com­pose in the jazz idiom while explor­ing oth­ers as well—Brazilian samba, música pop­u­lar brasileira, music in Québec, Amer­i­can roots music, and con­tem­po­rary songwriting/production that fuses many gen­res. Her areas of inter­est include Amer­i­can roots music, con­tem­po­rary styles that engage with those tra­di­tions, issues of ethnic/racial rep­re­sen­ta­tion, and cul­tural nos­tal­gia. She’s also par­tic­u­larly curi­ous about sub­cul­tures of the “mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion” and post­mod­ern iden­tity for­ma­tion. In 2013, Hilary pre­sented her paper, “‘An Enchant­ing Place Apart’: Imag­in­ing Appalachia in Indie Folk,” at the SEM North­west Chap­ter meet­ing and was awarded the Thelma Adam­son Prize for best stu­dent presentation.

Joe Kinzer UWJoe Kinzer
Joe Kinzer is an Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy PhD stu­dent in the School of Music at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton. In 2012 he received his M.M. degree from North­ern Illi­nois Uni­ver­sity with a con­cen­tra­tion in Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy and South­east Asian Stud­ies. For his dis­ser­ta­tion he plans to explore the per­for­mance of tra­di­tion and her­itage in con­tem­po­rary Malaysian insti­tu­tional set­tings, such as arts con­ser­va­to­ries and min­istries of cul­ture. He has con­ducted pre­vi­ous research in Malaysia for his master’s the­sis titled, “Mak­ing the Other Rel­e­vant: Per­form­ing Iden­tity through Expected Sounds in Met­ro­pol­i­tan Malaysia.” His most val­ued expe­ri­ence in acad­e­mia thus far has been the oppor­tu­nity to cre­ate and pilot his own “world music” sec­tion of the Intro­duc­tion to Music course at NIU under his advi­sor Dr. Jui-Ching Wang. Joe also holds a B.A. in Phi­los­o­phy and Reli­gious Stud­ies, plays gui­tar in his free time, and is learn­ing the oud with an inter­est toward its uses in muzik Melayu (Malay musics).

Bonnie McConnell UWBon­nie McConnell
Bon­nie McConnell is a PhD can­di­date in eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton. Her dis­ser­ta­tion focuses on music and health in The Gam­bia, bring­ing together per­spec­tives from med­ical eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy, global health and devel­op­ment, and per­for­mance the­ory. She has received awards from the Fulbright-Hays Pro­gram (2012–2013), the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton Chester Fritz Endow­ment (2010), and the For­eign Lan­guage and Area Stud­ies (FLAS) Pro­gram for her research in Africa. In addi­tion to her back­ground in music edu­ca­tion and eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy, her research is informed by four years work­ing as a health edu­ca­tor in Tan­za­nia and The Gam­bia. Bon­nie com­pleted the Uni­ver­sity of Washington’s Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Pub­lic Health in 2011 with a focus on HIV/AIDS com­mu­ni­ca­tion in Sene­gal. She has taught courses on pop­u­lar music at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton and worked for two years in the Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy Archive. Bon­nie has per­for­mance expe­ri­ence in the areas of Senegam­bian Mandinka music, the Dagarti gyil xylo­phone from Ghana, Wag­ogo music from Tan­za­nia, and Venda music from South Africa. She has also per­formed as key­boardist with a Gam­bian dance band ded­i­cated to health edu­ca­tion through per­for­mance. She has con­ducted research on music in The Gam­bia, Sene­gal, Tan­za­nia, Sene­gal, Ghana, Canada and the United States.

James B Morford UWJames B. Mor­ford
James B. Mor­ford is a Ph.D. stu­dent in Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Washington’s School of Music. His research inter­ests include music in West Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. He earned a B.S. in Physics from the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land, as well as a B.M. and M.M. in Music Edu­ca­tion from West Vir­ginia Uni­ver­sity. While at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton, he has par­tic­i­pated in a vari­ety of aca­d­e­mic and performance-based courses, and has pub­lished work on com­mu­nity music and inter­tribal Native Amer­i­can music . He is an active par­tic­i­pant in West African drum and dance classes in Seattle.

Peter Joon Park UWPeter Joon Park
Peter Joon Park is a Ph.D. Can­di­date cur­rently com­plet­ing his dis­ser­ta­tion about Korean p’ungmul gut (per­cus­sion music rit­u­als) and the inte­gra­tion of tra­di­tions with mod­ern iden­ti­ties. A second-generation Korean Cana­dian, he has per­formed and recorded Korean tra­di­tional music in Canada, USA, and South Korea since 1995. He teaches Korean per­cus­sion to music edu­ca­tors as part of the Smith­son­ian Folk­ways Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Course in World Music Ped­a­gogy, and to mid­dle and high school stu­dents in the Edmonds School District’s Sum­mer Music School.

He has taught Korean gayagŭm (12-string zither) and janggu (hour­glass drum) at UW and was a Teach­ing Assis­tant for Music Cul­tures of Asia. As part of a paid intern­ship at North­west Folk­life, he pro­duced a CD called Han Madang: Musi­cal Tra­di­tions of Korea, which fea­tures record­ings from the UW Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy Archives. In his master’s the­sis (for MA in Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy from UW), he exam­ined the con­nec­tions between Korean shaman rit­ual music and court music.

He also taught Indone­sian game­lan music at Seat­tle Pacific Uni­ver­sity and Pacific Lutheran Uni­ver­sity, and per­formed with Game­lan Paci­fica and Game­lan North­west for sev­eral years. He has a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree in Math­e­mat­ics with a con­cen­tra­tion in Com­puter Sci­ence from UW.

Leah Pogwizd UWLeah Pog­wizd
Leah Pog­wizd is a Ph.D. can­di­date in Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Washington’s School of Music. Her dis­ser­ta­tion research focuses on rela­tion­ships between gen­der, race, and notions of musi­cal authen­tic­ity among instru­men­tal­ists in the U.S. Her other research inter­ests include sample-based pop­u­lar music, belly dance in U.S. pop­u­lar cul­ture, and musi­cal tech­nol­ogy. She received a B.M. in Jazz Stud­ies from the Uni­ver­sity of North Texas and an M.A. in Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton. From 2007–2009, she stud­ied Morin Khuur (Mon­go­lian Horse-Head Fid­dle) with UW vis­it­ing artist Li Bo. She has taught a vari­ety of music courses at the UW, includ­ing Amer­i­can Pop­u­lar Song, Amer­i­can Folk Music, and Jazz His­tory. In 2010, she was awarded the Huck­abay Teach­ing Fel­low­ship which allowed her to design and develop a course that she even­tu­ally taught in Fall Quar­ter, 2011 as MUSIC 270: World Pop­u­lar Music. She con­tin­ues to per­form as a bassist in the Seat­tle, WA area.