Let’s Get Together and Feel All Right: Music, Spirit, Community and Politics

About the Panelists

joshkunJosh Kun is the author of Songs in the Key of Los Angeles: Sheet Music and the Making of California. An associate professor of communication and journalism at the USC Annenberg School, he writes about the arts and politics of cultural connection, with an emphasis on popular music, the cultures of globalization, the U.S.-Mexico border and Jewish American musical history. He is director of The Popular Music Project at USC Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center and co-editor of the book series Refiguring American Music for Duke University Press.

Ron McCurdy_fob14Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy is a trumpet player and professor of music in the USC Thornton School of Music and a past president of the International Association for Jazz Education. He previously served as director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at USC, and as a professor of music and chair of the Afro-African American and jazz studies departments at the University of Minnesota. McCurdy is a consultant to the Grammy Foundation educational programs and director of the national Grammy vocal-jazz ensemble and combo. He is also the director of the Walt Disney All-American College Band. McCurdy is a performing artist for the Yamaha International Corporation.

Shana Redmond_fob14Shana L. Redmond is an assistant professor of American studies and ethnicity at USC and the author of Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora, which examines the sonic politics performed among and between organized Afro-diasporic publics in the twentieth century. The book is accompanied by Anthem: The Mixtape, a collaboration between Redmond and The Dreadstar Movement. Redmond earned her combined PhD in African American studies and American studies from Yale University. She is currently working on a project detailing the performative regimes of aid music.

varun-bio_fob14Varun Soni (Panelist/Moderator) is the dean of Religious Life at USC, as well as a University Fellow at the Annenberg Center on Public Diplomacy and an adjunct professor at the School of Religion. He is the author of Natural Mystics: The Prophetic Lives of Bob Marley and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and producer of the critically acclaimed graphic novel Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary, which is being adapted for film. He holds multiple degrees in religion as well as a law degree.