MemberGarrett Michaelsen

Garrett Michaelsen is Assistant Professor of Musicianship and Music Theory at University of Massachusetts, Lowell. His work as a teacher, researcher, and performer is focused on improvisation in music. He co-designed the Musicianship and Analysis sequence at UML around the ways improvisation can be used to learn music theory and develop ear training. His research theorizes about the interactive group processes that structure jazz improvisations. And his performances as a trumpet player involve improvisation in jazz, avant-garde, tango, and other musical styles.

MemberMarc Edward Hannaford

Marc Hannaford is a music theorist whose interests lie at the intersection of jazz and improvisation, identity (especially race, gender, and disability), performance, and embodiment, and an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. He completed his PhD at Columbia University in 2019 with a dissertation on Muhal Richard Abrams, pianist, composer, and cofounder of the Association for the Advancement for Creative Musicians (AACM). His publications appear in Music Theory Online, Women & Music, and Sound American, and the Society for Music Theory’s Jazz Interest Group awarded him the 2019 Steve Larson Award for his paper, “Affordances and Free Improvisation: An Analytical Framework.” As a committed pedagogue, Marc helps students develop personal engagements with music via the critical exploration of manifold approaches: theoretical, analytical, historical, and creative. He is also an improvising pianist, composer, and electronic musician who has performed and/or recorded with Tim Berne, Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey, Tony Malaby, and William Parker. Prior to joining the School for Music, Theatre, and Dance, Marc worked as a Lecturer in Music Theory at Columbia University. He taught courses in music theory and analysis, twentieth century music, jazz theory, and black experimental music, among others. The Department of Music and Graduate School for the Arts and Sciences both recognized his teaching and research with the Mason Fellowship in Music and Serwer Fund Award. While at Columbia Marc also cofounded the Comparing Domains of Improvisation Discussion Group, which provides a forum to compare and contrast the concept and practice of improvisation in various creative and quotidian domains, and the Diversity in Music Theory discussion group, which aims to expand and deepen members’ approaches to cultivating diverse and inclusive research, teaching, and service within music theory.             Originally from Australia, Marc discovered academic music theory through performance and his conservatory training as a jazz pianist. In 2010 he completed a research project that adapts composer Elliott Carter’s rhythmic language for improvised contexts. This convergence of contemporary composition, rhythmic complexity, and improvisation led him to the United States and remains a secondary research interest.             Between research, teaching, and performing, Marc enjoys cooking, walking his dog (Reggie), and outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.    

MemberAllan Chase

Allan Chase is Chair of the Ear Training department at Berklee College of Music. He is featured on over 50 recordings as a saxophone soloist and improviser. From 1992 to 2000, he performed and recorded with Rashied Ali, and he has been a member of Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet since 1981. He has contributed to research and publications on the music of jazz composer Sun Ra, the subject of his MA Ethnomusicology thesis. He has taught at Berklee (1981-1990, 2008-present), Tufts University (1993-1997), and New England Conservatory (1994-2012), where he also served as Dean of Faculty (2000-2006), chair of Jazz Studies (1996-2001), and chair of Contemporary Improvisation (2005-8).

MemberBen Baker

I’m a Ph.D. student and Sproull Fellow in music theory at the Eastman School of Music. My research focuses primarily on improvisation, including the development and modeling of improvisational fluency, the role of improvisation in jazz and popular music, and related issues of embodiment and flow. I also study mathematical models of musical spaces. I’m a dynamic and skilled teacher – after my first year teaching in the undergraduate theory curriculum, I was awarded Eastman’s Teaching Assistant Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. I also serve on the board of the Music Theory Society of New York State, and the editorial staff of Intégral. Prior to coming to Eastman, I worked for five years as a versatile freelance pianist in New York City, where I served as an adjunct music director and vocal coach at NYU, accompanied festival choruses at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, performed in numerous professional jazz and pop groups, and maintained a private piano studio. I remain active as a pianist, both in NYC and in Rochester. Outside of music, I enjoy running and following politics. I also recently completed a four-year term as the New York City Representative on the St. Olaf College Alumni Board.

MemberChris Stover

I’m a Senior Lecturer of Music Studies and Research at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University (Brisbane), and an Associate Researcher at the RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Study of Rhythm, Time and Motion (University of Oslo) and the Orpheus Institute (Ghent). I’m also a busy composer and improvising trombonist. My research is on musical interaction and improvisation, philosophy, temporal processes in African and Afro-diasporic musics, and feminist, queer, postcolonial and phenomenological approaches to thinking about music, including music analysis. I’m also deeply interested in music pedagogy. I edit the new online Practice Magazine (submissions accepted!), am Critical Forum Editor for Music Analysis, and will soon be soliciting contributions for a new book series on music and philosophy with Edinburgh University Press.