An ethnomusicologist, jazz pianist, and former Mellon Foundation/Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellow, Mark Lomanno advocates for analytical and empathetic listening practices as gateways to experiential learning, creative experimentation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community engagement. His pedagogical, performance, and scholarly work all focus on “critical creative practice,” especially the relationship between academic studies and improvised performance.
Lomanno’s research—in both ethnomusicology and jazz studies—is geographically based in the Atlantic world, including Latin America and the Caribbean, the African Diaspora, and the Eastern Atlantic region of Macaronesia (the Azores, Cape Verde, Madeira, and Canary Islands). Exploring how improvisation as musical and cultural practice can be used for advocacy, critical action, and social change, his research is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on comparative literature, dis/ability and embodiment studies, performance ethnography, applied science and technology studies, in addition to historical ethnomusicology, music theory, and anthropological fieldwork. A long-time collaborator with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation and the E.U.-based Rhythm Changes project, Lomanno has conducted ethnographic, archival, and performance work on both sides of the Atlantic, presenting, publishing, and leading workshops throughout the United States and abroad.
Lomanno currently serves as associate editor of the peer-reviewed journal Jazz Perspectives; and from 2013 to 2017, he served as chair of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Improvisation Section. In 2012, he founded the blog “The Rhythm of Study,” an open-access website that focuses on collaborative and interdisciplinary discussions of jazz and improvised music in the arts, academia, and activism.
- (in press) “The Rigors of Afro/Canarian Jazz: Sounding Peripheral Vision with Severed Tongues.” In Playing for Keeps: Improvisation in the Aftermath of Crisis, edited by Daniel Fischlin and Eric Porter. Duke University Press.
- (forthcoming) “The Break and the Mend: Parsing Xenophonic Acoustemologies.” Jazz Research Journal. Special Issue on Jazz and Everyday Aesthetics.
- (forthcoming) “Emergent Postures: A Pathophysiology of Ethnographic Pianism.” In The Erotic Life of Sound and Movement: Recasting Ethnographic Experience in Africa and the Diaspora, edited by Sidra Lawrence and Michelle Kisliuk. New Perspectives on Gender in Music series. University of Illinois Press.
- (forthcoming) Co-editor (with Daniel Fischlin), The Improviser’s Classroom: Pedagogies of Adaptive
Performance, Social Engagement, and Creative Practice.
- (forthcoming) Co-editor, Critical Studies in Improvisation. Special issue on improvisation and the liberal arts.
- (2016) “Book Review. Africa in Stereo: Modernism, Music, and Pan-African Solidarity. By Tsitsi Elli Jaji.” Africa—Journal of the International African Institute 86/1 (February): 182-184.
- (2015) “Review: Oxford Studies in Recorded Jazz.” Twentieth-Century Music 12/2 (September): 279-285.
- (2014) “Methodological Potentiality and the Untranslatable: Sounding Difference in the Translating Riff. A Response to Helga Zembrano.” Ethnomusicology Review. (December 18).
- – “Enunciating Power and Ex…Plosive Time: Cécile McLorin Salvant’s WomanChild and Undoing Silence.” Ethnomusicology Review. (March 18).
- (2013) “St. Brendan’s Island and Afro/Canarian (Jazz) Fusion: Emergence and the īnsula improvīsa.” Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures 7/2: 106-120.
- (2012) “Ellington’s Lens as Motive Mediating: Improvising Voices in the Far East Suite.” Jazz Perspectives 6/1-2: 151-177.
Awards and Honors
- Research Dissemination Grants, Northeastern University (2017)
- Mellon Foundation and Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellowship (2013-2015)
- Cooper Fund Grant, “Sound Breaks: Improvisation, Interdisciplinarity, and Social Advocacy” (2015)
- Livingston Fellowship, UT-Austin (2010)
- Emerging Scholar Prize, Echoes of Ellington Conference (2009)
- Berger-Carter Award for Jazz Research, Rutgers University-Newark (2006)
- “Macaronesian Modes: Sounding Ultraperipheral Identities from the Eastern Atlantic”
- “Wail: Radical Jazz Pianism and the Precarity of Black Breath”
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Small Island Cultures Research Initiative
- Society for American Music
- Society for Ethnomusicology