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Research Collaborator

New York University

Dr. Stanyek has published on subjects ranging from Brazilian hip hop to Pan-African jazz, from intercultural free improvisation to capoeira. Among his most recent publications are “Hip Hop and Black Public Spheres in Cuba, Venezuela and Brazil” (in Beyond Slavery: The Multilayered Legacy of Africans in Latin America and the Caribbean (2007)) and “Transmissions of an Interculture: Pan-African Jazz and Intercultural Improvisation” (in The Other Side of Nowhere: Jazz, Improvisation, and Communities in Dialogue (2004)). He is currently writing a book on Brazilian diasporic performance, entitled Around the World Goes Around: Performing Brazilian Music and Dance in the United States, and is co-editing a book on mobile media and new modalities of sonic consumption. Also highly active as a cavaquinho player, guitarist and composer, he has released two CDs as a guitarist with the improvisation quartet O'Keefe, Stanyek, Walton, Whitehead and served as assistant conductor for the premiere recording of Anthony Davis's opera Tania. Dr. Stanyek’s compositions have been performed worldwide and he has composed music for dance productions and films (most recently for Thomas Allen Harris's É Minha Cara/That's My Face: A Mythopoetic Film Exploring the African Face of Brazil). 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, and ethnographic method and he is a member of the advisory board of Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisation and the multimedia reviews editor of the Journal for the Society of American Music. He has taught at the University of Richmond and was visiting associate professor at Harvard University in 2007-2008. He holds a PhD (critical studies and experimental practices) and an MA (composition) from the University of California, San Diego and an honours BM from Brooklyn College.

Improvisation implies a deep connection between the personal and the communal, self and world. A “good” improviser successfully navigates musical and institutional boundaries and the desire for self-expression, pleasing not only herself but the listener as well.

– Rob Wallace