Juan Eduardo Wolf
Juan Eduardo Wolf began as an assistant professor in ethnomusicology at the University of Oregon in Fall 2013. He teaches undergraduate and graduate students in courses that include: Music in World Cultures, Introduction to Ethnomusicology, Musical Instruments of the World, Music in the Americas, Music in Puerto Rico, and Race in Latin American Music-Dance. You can find his current course offerings at his blog.
His ethnographic research focuses on how people of African and Indigenous descent in Latin America use music-dance to understand and represent themselves. In his forthcoming book, Styling Blackness in Chile: Music and Dance in the African Diaspora (Indiana University Press, Spring 2019), he examines how the tumbe carnaval performed by members of different Afro-descendant organizations in Arica, Chile relates to how they are recognized politically on the national and international level. He contextualizes this relatively recent practice through comparison with the other forms of music-dance that reference Blackness in the region (morenos de paso, vals criollo, caporales, etc.). He argues that we can relate the ways in which these different performances are “styled” to the different historical attitudes that Chilean society has (and may continue to have) towards Blackness. As critical discourse, his work contributes to the growing awareness of the history of Afro-descendants in Chile, so that its central government will finally officially recognize the contributions that Afro-descendants have made to its culture and so work towards a more inclusive, more equitable society.
Wolf’s interests also include other types of Andean festive performance; he has presented conference papers at the meetings of Society of Ethnomusicology and Latin American Studies Association on Arica’s Carnaval Andino as well as brass band performance at religious celebrations in the region. One of his Spanish language articles on the local panpipe tradition, lakitas, was published in a book on the subject. On a related note, Wolf is concerned with Andean Indigenous languages and their revitalization. He has studied Aymara and co-wrote an Inga language (a variety of Quechua) textbook, Inga Rimangapa ¡Samuichi! with Francisco Tandioy Jansasoy and John H. McDowell. His interest in documenting and preserving expressive culture in informed by his music technology minor and his experience working on the staff of the EVIA digital archive project.
Wolf coordinates the SOMD World Music Series, a concert series began by his predecessor, Dr. Mark Levy. The series gives the UO community an opportunity to hear musicians of high caliber performing in a variety of genres from around the globe. You can follow the series on Facebook.
Wolf is also a core faculty member of the Folklore Program and Latin American Studies Program. He helps coordinate a Research Action Project (RAP) that is part of the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS) at the University of Oregon. His teaching experience includes courses on Folklore in the U.S. as well as Latino and U.S. immigration history.
As a performer, Wolf has worked with several ensembles as percussionist, guitarist, vocalist, and composer. In the spring quarter, he leads a World Music Ensemble for credit. This ensemble has taken several forms: As Los Wallatas, an Andean Music ensemble, students learn to perform lakitas, tarkas, and instruments in the orquesta andina tradition. As the Puerto Rican Music Ensemble, students play a number of genres including bomba, plena, and danza, among others. See excerpts of ensemble performances here.