Print This Issue

Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music: Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr.

December 7, 2010, Volume 57, No. 14



Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. has been appointed the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music in the School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Ramsey specializes in African-American and American music, jazz, cultural studies, popular music, film studies and historiography and lectures internationally on these topics.

He is the author of Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop, which was named outstanding book of the year by IASPM (International Association for the Study of Popular Music). He recently completed a book on jazz pianist Bud Powell, In Walked Bud: Earl Bud Powell and the Modern Jazz Challenge, which will be published in 2011. He has also published articles in Black Music Research Journal, The Musical Quarterly, Journal of Popular Music Studies, and the Journal of the American Musicological Society. In 2001, his article, “Who Hears Here? Black Music, Critical Bias, and the Musicological Skintrade,” received the Irving Lowens Award for best article from the Society for American Music.

Dr. Ramsey composes and arranges all the music for his band, Dr. Guy’s MusiQologY, which moves beyond the traditional jazz idiom, experimenting with R&B, Latin and hip-hop fusions. The band has performed for audiences in South America, Australia and New York and at the University of Pennsylvania, the Kimmel Center and other Philadelphia venues. Dr. Ramsey was commissioned to create an original composition for the opening session of the 100th Anniversary of the NAACP. The piece was set to the words of inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander and performed at the centennial convention in New York City last July.

Prior to coming to Penn in 1998, Dr. Ramsey was a Thurgood Marshall Dissertation Fellow at Dartmouth College in 1993 and a DuBois Institute Fellow at Harvard University in 1996. He taught at Tufts University from 1994 to 1998.

The Kahn term chairs were established through a bequest by Mr. and Mrs. Edmund J. Kahn. Mr. Kahn was a 1925 Wharton graduate who had a highly successful career in the oil and natural gas industry. Louise Kahn, his wife, was a graduate of Smith College who worked for Newsweek and owned an interior design firm. The couple contributed to many programs and projects at Penn, including Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, the Modern Languages College House and other initiatives and scholarships in the humanities.


Almanac - December 7, 2010, Volume 57, No. 14