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Ken GeGraduate Student (Ph.D. Candidate)

ken tianyuan Ge (he/him) is a writer, improvising musician, and photographer from the U.S. South. His research on music and sound in the world of cruise tourism asks how power, capital, and the past permeates an affective life that is both terrestrial and oceanic. ken holds a doctorate in studio music and jazz performance from the University of Miami, and is pursuing a second doctorate in musicology at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he holds the Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Fellowship. His career as a working bassist spans the idioms of contemporary jazz, free and improvised music, Latin jazz, cabaret, musical theater, classical crossover, and experimental art/mixed media. His album with avant-pianist Matt Piet, ashes/dreamspeak, is distributed on the independent Chicago label Amalgam. Concurrent with these endeavors, he was deeply embedded within the cruise music industry, having worked as musical director for Celebrity Cruises and Oceania Cruises, and most recently as director of the cruise division at Suman Entertainment Group, one of the largest private employers of bands and musicians in the U.S. ken’s scholarly work builds on these experiences, investigating gender and masculinity in jazz cultures, Black sonic-spatial practices in the “Golden Age” of U.S. radio, the affective-aesthetic dimensions of the climate crisis, and the shape of corporatized musical life at sea.

“Ship of Darkness: Jazz and/as Affect in the Global Cruise Industry,” Jazz & Culture 5, no. 2 (Fall 2022).

“Resurrecting Masculinity: Gender, Jazz Timbre, and the Afterlife of Dennis Irwin’s Bass.” In The Routledge Companion to Jazz and Gender, ed. Monika Herzig, James Reddan, and Michael Kahr, 205–17. New York: Routledge, 2022.

  • Instructor:
    • Introduction to Jazz (MUSC145), Fall 2022
  • Teaching Assistant:
    • Musicianship I (MUSC130), Spring 2022
    • Introduction to Jazz (MUSC145), Fall 2021

Office: Hill 223