Ethnomusicologist and jazz musician Paul Austerlitz is the author of two books: Jazz Consciousness: Music, Race, and Humanity (2005, Wesleyan University Press)and Merengue: Dominican Music and Dominican Identity (1997, Temple University Press). Jazz Consciousness was awarded the Merriam Award for Outstanding Book in Ethnomusicology by the Society for Ethnomusicology and an Honorable Mention for the Woody Guthrie Award by the International Society for the Study of Popular Music. It focuses on issues of race, nation, and transnationalism, looking at jazz in relation to national identity in the US, pan-Africanism, and global currents. Merengue considers Dominican music in relation to racial and national identity and has been translated into Spanish (2007, Ministry of Culture and Academy of Sciences of the Dominican Republic). Austerlitz has had articles published in the US,the Dominican Republic, and Nigeria. He is currently preparing two edited volumes: an edition of musical scores entitled Machito and his Afro-Cubans: Transcriptions and Arrangements (forthcoming, the American Musicological Society and A&R Editions); and an edition of interviews with Dominican musicians entitled Los gigantes del merengue: en sus propias palabras ( The Giants of Merengue: In their Own Words).
Austerlitz is also active as a jazz composer and musician specializing in the bass and contrabass clarinets and has completed residencies at the Yaddo and Omi artist colonies. He has recorded four CDs of original music: A Bass Clarinet in Santo Domingo and Detroit (Xdot 25) and, in collaboration with poet Michael S. Harper, Double-Take: Jazz-Poetry Conversations (Innova) and Our Book on Trane: The Yaddo Sessions (Yaddo). In 2005, Austerlitz was the recipient the Macoll Johnson Fellowship for Music Composition from the Rhode Island Foundation, which supported the production of his latest CD, which is entitled Journey (Innova); recorded in the Dominican Republic, New York City, and Rhode Island, it blends jazz with Afro-Dominican, African, and Indian music as well as influences from European composers such as Debussy and Stravinsky.
Associate Professor, Africana Studies