jazz scholar & writer



My personal history is marked by transcontinental moves between my family's native country of Israel, and various temporary homes in the two coasts of the United States. It was in Cambridge, MA, in the first grade, while staying for a year in the New England home of a writer on leave, that the imposing grand Steinway & Sons sitting in the living room impelled me to my first music making experiences, alongside my first forays into the English language. It was in Emeq Hefer, Israel, in elementary and middle school, where I began to sing with the rigorous Efroni youth choir, under the direction of Maya Shavit, learning Hungarian and Yemeni folk songs, and Israeli art music. And it was in the Bay Area, in high school, where I was exposed to my first jazz records, and began singing arrangements of standards with an ensemble of my peers. 

While pursuing my studies at the University of California, Berkeley, I focused on jazz performance, and worked with pianist and composer Professor Myra Melford. At the Jazzschool (now also the California Jazz Conservatory) I worked closely with singer Laurie Antonioli, and pianist/director Susan Muscaerlla, leading my own band and participating in various side projects. At UC Berkeley I became increasingly interested in academic research and analytical writing, and worked under the guidance of professors Benjamin Brinner, Jocelyne Guilbault and Davitt Moroney. I graduated with a BA in music in 2011, with a thesis advised by Professor Benjamin Brinner and titled "Singing Amharic in Tel-Aviv: Ethiopians in Israeli Popular Music. " 

I moved to Cambridge, MA, to begin the ethnomusicology PhD program at Harvard in the Fall of 2013, working with professors Ingrid Monson, Kay Shelemay, and Vijay Iyer, among others. My writing has been featured in the Ethnomusicology Review's Sounding Board, and I've presented my research in conferences including those of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Rhythm Changes, and the EMP Pop Conference. From 2014 to 2016 I was the director of the Graduate Student Jazz Bands at Harvard, leading both a small ensemble and a Big Band. Since the Fall of 2016, I have been living in Brooklyn, NY, working on fieldwork for my thesis with the (working) title, "Politics of Radical Vocal Practices in Contemporary Jazz Scenes."