Skip to Content


University of California, Riverside

Deborah Wong is an ethnomusicologist, specializing in the musics of Thailand and Asian America. She holds an MA and PhD from the University of Michigan.

Her first book, Sounding the Center: History and Aesthetics in Thai Buddhist Ritual (2001), addresses ritual performance about performance and its implications for the cultural politics of Thai court music and dance in late twentieth-century Bangkok. Speak It Louder: Asian Americans Making Music (2004), focuses on music, race, and identity work in a series of case studies (Southeast Asian immigrant musics, Chinese American and Japanese American jazz in the Bay Area, and Asian American hip-hop). She has studied Japanese American drumming (taiko) since 1997 and is a member of Satori Daiko, the performing group of the Taiko Center of Los Angeles. Her book-in-progress will address taiko in California.

Dr. Wong taught in the ICASP Summer Institute 2008.

There is a curious yet enormously fruitful duality in the way that improvisation plays on our expectations and perspectives.

– Tracey Nicholls