Jonathon Grasse, Ph.D.Jonathon Grasse, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
LCH A324
(310) 243-2382
Fall 2015 Office Hours: 
M 11:30-1pm, T 11:30-12:30pm, W 10:30-11:30am, Thur 11:30-12:30pm

Composer, ethnomusicologist, and guitarist Jonathon Grasse received his M.A. in composition from UC Santa Cruz, with ethnomusicology teaching assistantships in West Javanese gamelan (percussion orchestra) and Latin American ensembles.  His 1999 Ph.D. from UCLA is in composition with the cognate in ethnomusicology, where he taught in the music and ethnomusicology departments from 1999-2005.

His fieldwork in Minas Gerais, Brazil focuses on Afro-mineiro traditions and the Clube da Esquina popular music movement. He is currently writing a book on music from that region. His performance experience includes Brazilian batucada and Indonesian gamelan. Jonathon helped co-found the Institute for the Pedagogies of World Music Theories where he lectures on issues related to theory, composition and inclusion of world musics in the classroom. His publications include articles and reviews on Brazilian music topics, and co-authored a book chapter on American composer Lou Harrison’s works for gamelan.

Jonathon’s 2012 composition “Triptych” for string trio was selected as winner of the 2012 American Composers Forum - LA Chapter competition. In 2011, his CD Chamber Music was released by Centaur Records. His compositions have been performed throughout California, New York, Europe, China, Mexico, and Brazil. He has received grants from the American Composers Forum.

An electric guitarist specializing in solo and group improvisation, Jonathon has performed, recorded, and composed for the ensembles Surrealestate, and Decisive Instant.  He appears on the former’s CDs Contrafactum (2000), Lacunae (2010), and Aporias (2011) all on the Acoustic Levitation label.  His CD Phantomwise (2012, AL) features collaborations with leading Los Angeles, and New York-based instrumentalists.  His current project as leader is the Native Plant Society improvisation collective.