Documenting the Sounds of Africa: Archiving, Instruments, and Researching the Local

In honor of the grand re-opening of the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive, the World Music Center at UCLA and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology presented a day-long symposium and evening concert honoring Professor Emerita Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje.1  The event was co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology, the World Music Center at UCLA, the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music, the Mohindar Brar Sambhi Endowed Chair in Indian Music, the UCLA African Studies Center, and the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies

As Professor DjeDje said of the eventWhat a wonderful event to celebrate the re-opening of the Archive!!! As I've stated before, I was deeply honored to be invited to participate. And I want to thank everyone for all of their efforts in making my participation a success. Please let everyone know my deepest appreciation for their contributions and hard work.

I thought I would share some of the many images we have from the event.

Introduction by Mark Kligman, Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music, Chair, Department of Ethnomusicology, Director of the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music, Professor of Ethnomusicology and Musicology, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Welcome by Judith Smith, Founding Dean, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Supeena Adler (Adjunct Assistant Professor, UCLA, Ethnomusicology; World Musical Instrument Collection (WMIC) Curator; Director, Music of Thailand Ensemble – The UCLA World Musical Instrument Collection, African Music Collection and Its Use for Concerts.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

William Matczynski (Ph.D. Candidate, UCLA, Ethnomusicology) – The UCLA World Musical Instrument Collection, African Music Collection and Its Use for Concerts. Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Birgitta Johnson (Associate Professor, University of South Carolina, Ethnomusicology, African American Studies) – Documenting the Sound of Light: Gospel Archiving at UCLA.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Lucas Avidan (M.A. student, UCLA, Ethnomusicology), William Matczynski – Oral Histories of UCLA Ethnomusicology: Lois Anderson and Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Lucas Avidan (M.A. student, UCLA, Ethnomusicology), William Matczynski – Oral Histories of UCLA Ethnomusicology: Lois Anderson and Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Hannah Davison (Development Editor, Adam Matthew Digital) with Aaron Bittel (Archivist, Adjunct Associate Professor, UCLA, Ethnomusicology) – Ethnomusicology: Global Field Recordings.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Jesse Ruskin (Ph.D., Evaluation & Development Associate, Ford Theatre Foundation) – The Darius L. Thieme Collection of Yorùbá Music, 1964 to 1966: A Digital Archiving Collaboration.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Tyler Yamin, Otto Stuparitz.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

William Matczynski, Supeena Adler.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Lunch from Casablanca.  Photo courtesy Helen Rees.

Jean Kidula (Professor, University of Georgia, Music (Ethnomusicology) – A Night at the Morton: Celebrating African American Music in Athens, Georgia.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Scott Linford (Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music) – Recovering the Songs of a Senegalese Rain Priestess: Ethnography and the Colonial Archive.  Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Clarence Henry (Ph.D., Applied Ethnomusicology, Newark, New Jersey) – Archiving African Heritage at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York City.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Ray Briggs (Associate Professor, Music, Assistant Director of Jazz Studies, CSU Long Beach) - Reflections & Reevaluations: Thoughts on Ethnomusicology and Mentorship.  Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje keynote address:  The Fiddle/Violin in African-American Culture: Contradictions and Variances.  Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Back: Jesse Ruskin, Ray Briggs, Scott Linford, Clarence Henry / Front: Jean Kidula, Jacqueline DjeDje, Birgitta Johnson.  Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Professors DjeDje and Kligman cut the blue ribbon to officially re-open the newly renovated Ethnomusicology Archive.  Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Ethnomusicology Archive, past and present.  Back: Ben Doleac, Paul Humphreys, Aaron Bittel, Tyler Yamin, Tim Taylor / Middle: Jesse Ruskin, Wan Yeung, Stephanie Sybert, Xiaorong (Heidi) Yuan, Wanda Bryant, Maureen Russell, Will Matczynski / Front: Mei-Chen Chen, Jacqueline DjeDje, Shani Miller, Birgitta Johnson, Jean Kidula, Cynthia Tse Kimberlin, Louise Spear, Peggy Caton, Helen Rees.  Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Francis Awe, Will Matczynski.  Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Francis Awe, Will Matczynski, Katelynn Nguyen, Rachel Scott, Omowale Awe.  Photo courtesy Helen Rees.

Francis Awe, Will Matczynski, Jesse Ruskin, Katelynn Nguyen, Rachel Scott, Omowale Awe.  Photo courtesy Helen Rees.

Supeena Adler, Mei-Chen Chen, Xiaorong (Heidi) Yuan.  Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Kathleen Hood, Director, UCLA Ethnomusicology Publications.  Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Jean Kidula, Ray Briggs.  Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Roberta King, Clarence Henry, Ray Briggs, Wanda Bryant, Steve Loza, Beto Gonzalez. Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Clarence Henry, Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, Janise White.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Ray Briggs, Eddie Meadows, Clarence Henry.  Photo courtesy Helen Rees.

Birgitta Johnson.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Aaron Bittel, Callie Holmes, Matthew Vest, Maureen Russell.  Photo courtesy Shani Miller.

Members of the UCLA West African and Afro-Cuban Ensembles: Metebrafor Agindotan, David Castañeda, Juan Francisco Cristobal, Daniel Ferguson, William Matczynski, Marina Panzetta, Lorenzo Siciliano, Alfie Scott, Rachel Scott, Chloe Vaught, with special guest Francis Kofi Akotuah.  Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

Wondem: Kibrom Birhane, Randal Fisher, Matwiran (Rani) de Leon, Etsegenet Tadesse, Nadav Peled, Todd Simon, and Dexter Story. Photo courtesy Brian Runt.

 

  • 1. *Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje was on the UCLA faculty for 34 years (1979–2013). She taught theoretical area courses in African and African-American music and was director of an African-American vocal ensemble. Much of DjeDje’s research has focused on performance practices as they relate to the one-string fiddle tradition in West Africa. In recent years her research has extended to the study of fiddling in African-American culture and its interconnections with Anglo-American music. In addition, she has conducted investigations on African-American religious music. She is particularly interested in how the dynamics of urban life give rise to change and other musical activity. DjeDje has conducted fieldwork in several countries in West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, and Senegal), Jamaica, California, and the southern United States (Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Louisiana). In 2013, her students and colleagues wrote and edited the Festschrift Resiliency and Distinction: Beliefs, Endurance and Creativity in the Musical Arts of Continental and Diaspora Africa. A Festschrift in Honor of Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje (edited by Kimasi L. Browne and Jean N. Kidula. Richmond, California: Music Research Institute). DjeDje’s most recent publications include Fiddling in West Africa: Touching the Spirit in Fulbe, Hausa, and Dagbamba Cultures (Indiana University Press, 2008), Fiddling in West Africa (1950s–1990s): The CD Recording, and Fiddling in West Africa (1950s–1990s): The Songbook (UCLA Ethnomusicology Publications, 2008). In addition, she is the author of Distribution of the One String Fiddle in West Africa, American Black Spiritual and Gospel Songs from Southeast Georgia: A Comparative Study, and Black Religious Music from Southeast Georgia (a recording with accompanying booklet). She is editor of Turn Up the Volume! A Celebration of African Music, a collection of essays published in conjunction with three Los Angeles museum exhibitions on African and African-derived music. Also, she is principal editor of African Musicology (two volumes) and co-editor of Selected Reports in Ethnomusicology, Volume 5 and California Soul: Music of African-Americans in the West. In addition, she has contributed articles to a number of periodicals and reference publications, including Africa: The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 1; The United States and Canada: The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 3; The World's Music, General Perspectives and Reference Tools: The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 10; The Cambridge History of American Music; The Revised New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians; Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia; and The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Black Women in America: Music, Volume 5. DjeDje is former president of the Southern California Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology and second vice president of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Twice an award recipient from the National Endowment for the Humanities, she has served as panelist for the Folk Arts Program of that organization. In 2009, she was awarded the Alan P. Merriam Prize, awarded annually by the Society for Ethnomusicology to recognize the most distinguished published English-language monograph in the field of ethnomusicology. In 2010, she was awarded the inaugural Kwabena Nketia Book Prize, awarded bi-annually by the Society for Ethnomusicology African Music Section to recognize the most distinguished book published on African music. DjeDje was director of the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive, 2000 to 2007, acting chair of the Department of Ethnomusicology, winter and spring 2003, and chair of the Department of Ethnomusicology, fall 2005 to fall 2010.
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