Jonathon Grasse

Dr. Jonathan Grasse

Contact Information
La Corte Hall E-305

Office Hours for Fall 2020
Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 2:00pm by email appointment

Composer/ethnomusicologist Jonathon Grasse received his Ph.D. in music composition with the cognate in ethnomusicology from UCLA, where he taught in the music and ethnomusicology departments from 1999-2005. His 2012 composition Triptych for string trio won the 2012 American Composers Forum - LA Chapter competition. His 2017 album Six Compositions (CD Baby) is available on all major streaming services and includes The Informal Sector, a concerto for two trombones and Just Intonation American Gamelan. Jonathon produces CSUDH’s Festival of New and Improvised Music, featuring festival residency of the LA New Music ensemble Brightwork. His compositions have been performed throughout California, and in New York, Europe, China, and Mexico. He has received grants from the American Composers Forum. In 2011, Centaur Records released his CD Chamber Music. He has published many recordings of his improvised and experimental music on Bandcamp.

Jonathon’s ethnomusicological work in Minas Gerais, Brazil focuses on regional identity, Afro-mineiro traditions, and the Clube da Esquina (Corner Club) popular music movement. His forthcoming book Hearing Brazil: Music and Histories in Minas Gerais will be published by University Press of Mississippi in 2021. Jonathon is also author of The Corner Club by Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges, part of Bloomsbury Academic’s series 33 1/3 Brazil. His chapter “Musical Space and Deep Regionalism in Minas Gerais, Brazil,” will appear in the 2021 book Musical Spaces: Place, Performance, and Power (Jenny Stanford Publishing, Singapore). His recent journal articles on Brazilian music include "Calundu's Winds of Divination: Music and Black Religiosity in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Minas Gerais Brazil," in the Yale Journal of Music and Religion (Fall, 2017). Further publications include articles and reviews on Brazilian music topics, and a book chapter on American composer Lou Harrison’s works for Indonesian-inspired gamelan. An electric guitarist specializing in solo and group improvisation, Jonathon has performed and recorded with several Los Angeles area ensembles including his group the Native Plant Society.