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Since 2004, I have worked at Dowling College, the Aaron Copland School of Music (Queens College), and the Eugene Lang College (The New School), teaching a wide array of undergraduate and graduate courses in ethnomusicology, music history, music theory, and music education. This coming fall (2016), I will be a Visiting Professor at CUNY Lehman College and Adelphi University. In 2010, I earned my Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the CUNY Graduate Center, writing my doctoral dissertation on the repertoire and performance practice of Mande hereditary professional musicians (griots) in New York City. Drawing upon my doctoral work and additional research, I have published articles in the peer-reviewed journals African Music (2011) and Analytical Approaches to World Music (2012), and Ethnomusicology (2014). In the near future (2017), I will be contributing subject heading entries on participant-observation and praise song to an encyclopedia of ethnomusicology (SAGE Encyclopedia of Music and Culture), and have an another article “Revisiting the Katanga Guitar Style(s) and Other Early African Guitar Idioms” forthcoming in Black Music Research Journal. Also, I plan to begin writing a book-length monograph on African guitar playing.
As a teaching artist, I began The Mother Water Project (2009), which was an outgrowth of the Dowling College World Music Ensemble (2006-2011) that I created, directed, and for which I composed and arranged all of the music, serving as its guitarist (see link for Mother Water documentary below). The Mother Water Project intended to promote diversity in music and arts education on Long Island through lecture/performances at galleries, libraries, and festivals. In 2011, I recorded an album containing nine original compositions, which were based upon specific world music styles and idioms (i.e., Nigerian Afro-Beat, South African mbaqanga, and Brazilian bossa nova), and they served as lecture/demonstration examples in presentations (see media player link for Mother Water Speaking in Tongues below). I have performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Dowling College, Williams College, the Zinc Bar, numerous clubs and festivals, and more recently at Silvana in Harlem (see link to Abdoulaye “Djoss” Diabaté/David Racanelli Silvana 3/18/16 below). As the video clip shows, Abdoulaye was performing with Banning Eyre and others. In the middle of "Wassoulou Foli," Abdoulaye walked into to the audience and handed the guitar to me. Picking up where he left off I played, standing reluctantly to the side of the stage area (since it wasn't my performance). In spite of my efforts to remain on the side of the stage, Abdoulaye pulled me to the center. On his behalf, I sent this clip to CLUB BONAFIDE, a fantastic, new world music venue in mid-town Manhattan where we performed on 8/3/16. Regarding my teaching philosophy (“Know Your Audience”), I aim to entertain while I instruct, inspiring one music student last year to remark, “I learn a lot in your courses. However, I feel like I should be drinking a beer!” Whether teaching music history or world music to a group of second graders, high school students, non-music majors, or graduate music education students in an African music course, I view the class as an audience that requires specific attention to its skills, needs, and desires. Singing, tapping, and clapping are all crucial means through which students can learn different musical idioms ranging from jazz and rock to traditional West African drumming. I make conscious and concerted efforts to connect to students as a captive audience in all educational environments. In the end, I aim to use my credentials and experience to enrich educational programs in as many ways as possible.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.
David Racanelli, Ph.D.
Audio/Video Links
Mother Water Documentary: s://./watch?v=njByHxB1LBM
Media player link for Mother Water Speaking in Tongues: ://.tunecore/widgets/show/80373
Link to Abdoulaye “Djoss” Diabaté/David Racanelli Silvana 3/18/16:

Screen name:
Member since:
Aug 19 2016
Active within 24 hours
Level of commitment:
Years playing music:
Gigs played:
Over 100
Tend to practice:
More than 3 times per week

Instrument experience:

Rhythm Guitar:
Lead Guitar:
Acoustic Guitar: