Dr. Marcia Ostashewski is an ethnomusicologist and dance ethnographer, performer and educator, and Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at Cape Breton University (CBU). Founding Director of The Centre for Sound Communities at CBU, an arts-led social innovation lab that she established during her tenure as Canada Research Chair in Communities and Cultures, Dr. Ostashewski is also President of the Canadian Society for Traditional Music (CSTM), member of the Executive Board of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), and serves on the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) Council. She is also Adjunct Professor of Music at University of Alberta since 2015, collaborating with and mentoring faculty and serving on graduate student supervisory committees.
In all her roles, she focuses her efforts in support of initiatives that challenge racism, colonialism and systemic inequities and, especially through mentorship and training, supports students and emerging scholars. Dr. Ostashewski’s work has been generously supported by multiple awards and grants, such as the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University Washington, and several grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada.
Her research is collaborative and community-engaged, intertwining creative and academic research practices while serving the needs and interests of the communities with whom she works. Current projects include collaborative “research for reconciliation” with Mi’kmaq community leaders and groups in Eastern North America; development of an emerging model for global and community music education in the time of COVID-19, focusing on Black and Indigenous lives and musics; and practice-based research related to the revitalization of Byzantine Ukrainian liturgical congregational singing in Canada.
Dr. Afua Cooper is a tenured, full-time professor at Dalhousie University’s Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology with cross-appointments in the Department of History and Gender and Women Studies. A poet, performer, scholar, historian, and social and cultural commentator, Dr. Cooper’s expertise in and contributions to the arts, history, and education were recognized when she was presented in 2015 with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Award from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. A celebrated poet, Dr. Cooper was recently installed as Halifax’s (Nova Scotia, Canada) 7th Poet Laureate. She is the author of five books of poetry, has recorded two poetry CDs and has published two historical novels, which have garnered Canadian and American awards. Her work in the creative arts has been recognized with the Premier of Ontario Award for Excellence in the Arts, a Governor General’s Award nomination, and internationally with the Beacon of Freedom Award. A founder of the Canadian Dub poetry movement, Dr. Cooper has been instrumental in organizing three international dub poetry festivals.
Dr. Cooper holds a Ph.D. in Black Canadian Studies and the African Diaspora from the University of Toronto, specializing in African Canadian culture, Black women’s history, gender, slavery, and abolition. She has conducted research on African-descended people and their culture across Canada, and internationally. Her co-authored publications We’re Rooted Here and They Can’t Pull Us Up: Essays in African Canadian Women’s History won the Joseph Brant prize for the best history book. Her ground-breaking book on Canadian slavery, The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Slavery in Canada and the Burning of Old Montreal was nominated for the Governor General’s award. Dr. Cooper has curated and worked on five exhibits, including The Underground Railroad, Next Stop Freedom, Enslaved Africans in Upper Canada, and The Transatlantic Slave Trade. Recognizing the immense multi-discipline contributions she has made to Canadian society and life as well as internationally, Essence Magazine named her as one of the twenty-five women who are shaping the world. As a result of her scholarship and praxis, she was the James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University, Halifax, from 2011 to 2017. Dr. Cooper is also the chair and founder of the Black Canadian Studies Association, and the Dalhousie Black Faculty and Staff Caucus.
Michael Frishkopf, Ph.D. (frishkopf.org, m4ghd.org) is Professor of Music, Director of the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology, Adjunct Professor of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Alberta, as well as Adjunct Professor at the University of Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana. His field research centres on music and sound in the Arab world and West Africa. Research areas include Sufism and Islam, development, migration, global health, architecture, digital repositories, virtual and augmented reality, and machine learning. Edited volumes include Music and Media in the Arab World (AUC Press, 2010) and Music, Sound, and Architecture in Islam (2018).
“Though he does have a beard, Professor MacDonald is not a tweed suit wearing dour academic, rather his passion for cinema and music has led him to the streets, showcasing the hardscrabble life of artists attempting to win fans one gig at a time.” CKUA radio, Alberta
Michael B. MacDonald is an award-winning filmmaker and associate professor of music at the MacEwan University Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications in Edmonton, Alberta. His films have been screened in film festivals all over the world and he has won documentary and experimental film awards. Michael has published three books on youth culture and his next two books will focus on cinema: Make your own damn film! (DIO Press 2021) and CineWorlding: cinemusicking & research-creation (Bloomsbury 2022). He is the founding program chair of the MusCan Film Series held annually at the Canadian University Music Society conference, serves on the editorial board of the journal Intersections, the program committee for KISMIF an international conference on DIY culture, member of the scientific committee for combArt, and an active member of the International Council of Traditional Music Study Group on Audiovisual Ethnomusicology. Michael is a co-founder of the Justice4Reel Media Advocacy Free School, and is currently developing a research-creation film festival called CineWorlding, where activists, artists, and academics can share cinematic work about worlds and worlds to come.
Eric Escudero has collaborated with Dr. Ostashewski on various projects and is currently working as project manager in the release and promotion of Bala. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Eric holds a B.A. in Communication and Multimedia from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo and an M.A. in Music and the Environment from the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland. At UHI, his final project, entitled Mirrors, consisted of a collection of songs and instrumental pieces inspired by a journey from Brazil to Scotland. In 2020, Eric collaborated as a research assistant with the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place (MMaP) in the Back on Track Series, in which he worked on the production and promotion of the album Doughboys and Molasses, among other releases. Eric is currently completing his M.A. in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University of Newfoundland and is a visiting student at Cape Breton University. His research interests include the music and traditions of southeastern coastal communities in Brazil, Fandango Caiçara, and issues of identity, resistance, and belief in folk music.
As a musician, Eric has released two solo albums, We Were Young and It Was Morning (2016) and Mirrors (2020), as well as three EPs. In November 2020, he released a self-titled EP with his Folk/Bossa Nova duo Ana & Eric, through The Citadel House.
Thiago Dalleck, a web designer with over eleven years’ experience, graduated in Digital Design in 2012 in Brazil. Thiago was born in São Paulo and moved to Toronto in 2018 with his wife, Bia. Together, they recently traveled as ‘digital nomads’ throughout Europe for a year, living for a time in several countries, including Portugal, Italy, Czech Republic, Croatia, Turkey and Albania. Thiago’s primary design skills — gleaned from working for marketing agencies in Brazil and Canada — encompass site design, landing page development and e-mail marketing design. He is also a professional photographer and an amateur writer who loves cinema, music, books and art in general.
Andrew Janzen is a researcher focusing on Indigenous music making in Mato Grosso, Brazil and is currently a doctoral student in Ethnomusicology (University of Toronto). He first moved to Brazil in 2006, where he has lived and worked for almost ten years in applied ethnomusicology and as a teacher. In 2018, he completed an M.A. in Ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto. He is co-author of the chapter ‘God with Me Speaking’: Envisioning the Study of Indigenous Christian Song in Brazil in Christian Sacred Music in the Americas (2021). He has taught cultural anthropology, facilitated artistic projects, and recorded musicians from numerous Indigenous groups. Drawing on the anthropology of religion and critical Indigenous studies, he explores the unexpected articulations of Christian and Indigenous identities, especially as expressed through Indigenous song and Christian spirituality. His research interests include collaborative ethnography, decolonizing ethnomusicology, and the changing politics of Indigeneity and representation in Brazil.
Jon Kertzer has a long and varied career in music, radio and technology. Jon was the director of the folkwaysAlive! Center at the University of Alberta and associate professor of music. An ethnomusicologist who has researched African musicians in London, he has recorded and produced a number of African albums, with a focus on immigrant musicians in North America. He has produced and hosted radio programs for over 30 years, originally at FM progressive rock station, to blues, jazz and world music programming. Jon has recorded groups for National Public Radio, as well as for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He also has extensive experience in concert and festival production, artist management and the record business. Currently, Jon is curator of concerts for Seattle Town Hall, co-host of the ‘Music of Africa’ radio program on KBCS Radio in Seattle, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Music, and a board member of the Library of Congress’s National Recording Preservation Board.
Wade Pfaff has interests ranging from Canadian Black history research, to studying and playing music from the trans-Atlantic diaspora, to developing arts and culture programs for marginalized youth. After completing a Bachelor of Community Studies degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Cape Breton University, where he was greatly influenced by Dr. Graham Reynolds, he went to Halifax to obtain a Master of Arts in Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University under the supervision of Dr. Afua Cooper. A dynamic lecturer and lifelong learner, Wade continues to study the relationship between the music of trans-Atlantic Black cultures (especially Jazz and Blues) during the early 20th century, and improvements in the civil rights of Blacks and people-of-colour that came later in the century in Canada.
Laura Risk is an Assistant Professor of Music and Culture in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough, with a cross-appointment in the Graduate Department of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. Her research examines the formation of musical genres and the mechanics of innovation within aural musical communities, with a focus on traditional music from Québec. She also works on a variety of applied ethnomusicology projects, ranging from archiving historic recordings and producing community CDs to designing professional development workshops for community music educators. Her co-production of the CD Douglastown: Music and Song from the Gaspé Coast received the 2014 Mnémo Prize for documentation of Québec’s intangible cultural heritage. Dr. Risk has published in Ethnomusicology and MUSICultures, and is co-editing a forthcoming triple special issue on musical communities and the COVID-19 pandemic for Critical Studies in Improvisation.
Vanessa Romao is currently completing her M.A. in Musicology at the University of Toronto and holds a Bachelor of Music in voice from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. Her research interests include voice, music theatre, and contemporary art music; with her undergraduate-directed study focusing on extended vocal techniques and their relationship to class and elitism in art music. Vanessa has held research assistantships through which she has conducted research on music history curricula in post-secondary institutions and music theatre in Canada and is currently enjoying honing her passion for education as a teaching assistant. Apart from her research, Vanessa remains active as a singer, and behind-the-scenes of community theatre.
Hamidreza Salehyar is a doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto; his doctoral research focuses on mourning rituals in Tehran, Iran. His doctoral research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Society for Asian Music, and the University of Toronto. Hamidreza has presented his research at major ethnomusicology conferences in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K., and has received several prizes, including the Canadian Society for Traditional Music Student Paper Prize (2019), the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Religion, Music, and Sound Section Student Paper Prize (2018), and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology Student Prize (2017). In addition to his Ethnomusicology M.A. from the University of Alberta (2015), Hamidreza’s academic research also benefits from his expertise in Iranian classical music as a tar player; he holds a B.Mus. in Iranian Instrument Performance from the University of Art in Tehran.
Senjuti Sarker is a librarian and an arts and cultural worker practicing through theatre design, arts management and facilitation. Her practice ranges from arts programming to librarianship with goals of centering community development. She completed her undergraduate in Theatre and Film Studies from McMaster University and her graduate studies in Library and Information Science (MLIS), where her research focus remained on strategizing greater investments in equity-seeking communities with public services. During her Masters studies, she also investigated how arts-based public programs and services affect new and emerging communities. Senjuti is an arts activist and advocate of knowledge equity and open education. Some of her previous involvements include working with McMaster University, The AMY Project, Mass Culture and Confluence Arts Collective. She is currently the Public Programming Coordinator at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
Darene Roma Yavorsky ~ Art, literature and music were the lens through which Darene began to see the world from an early age, and the focus intensified into a passion and synchronous occupation as her career has unfolded. Production management for an advertising agency and a software-writing firm; newspaper and magazine editing; freelance work for government, industry, educational institutions and charitable organizations ~ leading to her formation of The Word & Image Studio where creative pursuits have made her an affiliate of Access Copyright, The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency under three categories: writer, publisher and visual artist. Of Ukrainian heritage, Darene wrote, designed and published (in 2007) the biography of her late father, a significant figure in Ukrainian-Canadian formative arts and culture; which led to a meeting, in 2008, requested by Dr. Marcia Ostashewski of CBU. From that encounter, Darene has been fortunate to work, almost annually, on design and writing aspects of Dr. Ostashewski’s many projects: books, exhibitions, logos, poster designs, cover art and more. Concurrently, in 2010, she became a student of the violin, dedicated to Conservatory studies and the regional orchestra in which she performs, with a particular interest in music of the Baroque composers. Darene also administers The Pavlo Romanovich Yavorsky Memorial Youth Award in Ukrainian Dance, presented, since 2015, at Saskatchewan’s Tavria Ukrainian Dance Festival to “the student whose solo performance communicates joy and passion for the art form, conveying the heart and soul of Ukrainian culture and tradition.”