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Steven Pond

Associate Professor

Steven Pond

Lincoln Hall, Room 101

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley


Steve Pond’s scholarly interests center on jazz and musics of the African Diaspora generally. His articles and reviews have appeared in Ethnomusicology and the Music Library Association’s journal, Notes. His book, Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters: The Making of Jazz’s First Platinum Album, was published by University of Michigan Press in 2005 and republished as a paperback in 2010. The book was awarded the Woody Guthrie Prize for best monograph in popular music studies by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (United States chapter).  His work generally focuses on historiography, especially as it relates to issues of authenticity and authority, race, ethnicity, class, gender, and other identity frameworks, particularly as these issues. A central consideration is the politics of genre classification.

Pond teaches graduate courses on theoretical and research issues in ethnomusicology, as well as advanced topics in jazz, popular music, and musics of the African Diaspora. He teaches undergraduate survey courses in these areas as well, and he offers specialized courses in American sub-cultural musics, post-World War II jazz, and rhythm-and-blues. He was awarded an Innovation in Teaching development grant (the grant program’s inaugural year) and was a Society for the Humanities Faculty Fellow (Spring 2006). Besides his core involvement with the Department of Music, he is also on the faculty of the American Studies, Latin American Studies, and Latino Studies Programs.  He has also served as the music department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies.  He is currently Chair of the Department of Music.

Pond is active as a percussionist and drummer, and is director of Cornell’s Brazilian music group, Deixa Sambar.


African-American musics, jazz


  • Africana Studies and Research Center
  • American Studies Program
  • Music

Graduate Fields

  • Africana Studies
  • American Studies
  • Music


  • Jazz
  • Musics of the African Diaspora


Spring 2021


Selected Articles:

  • "Such Sweet Thunder [book review]. Notes: Journal of the Modern Language Association, in process (scheduled for June 2005).
  • Tami, Tazio (dir.), Billy Cobham's Glass Menagerie and Dorfman, Stanley (dir.), World of Rhythm [documentary film review]. Ethnomusicology (in process: scheduled for Spring 2005).
  • "Jamming the Reception: Ken Burns, Jazz and the Problem of 'America's Music.'" Notes: Journal of the Modern Language Association, vol. 60, no. 1 (September 2003): 11-45.
  • "Ken Burns' Jazz [review]. Ethnomusicology, vol. 46, no. 3 (Fall 2002): 553-557.



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