Academic Writing

Peer Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters:

“Making the Hang in Chile at Thelonious, Lugar de Jazz.” Jazz and Culture 3(1)

“Harmolodic Pedagogy and the Challenge of Omni-Musicality.” Jazz Perspectives 9(2)

“Jack Teagarden’s Southwestern Sound: A Musical Prodigy and His Field.” In Musical Prodigies: Interpretations from Psychology, Music Education, Musicology and Ethnomusicology, pp. 685-703. Edited by Gary E. McPherson.

Editor-in-Chief, Ethnomusicology Review Volume 19

PhD Dissertation:

Making Jazz Space: Clubs and Creative Practice in California, Chile, and Siberia.”

Book Reviews:

“Pop-Rock Music: Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism in Late Modernity; Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra: Five Musical Years in Ghana.” Jazz Perspectives 8(2):209-214

“People Get Ready: The Future of Jazz is Now.” Ethnomusicology Review 19.

“Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk and the Creation of Fusion.” Ethnomusicology Review 16:465

Essays and Journalism

(In roughly reverse-chronological order, with more recent writing towards the top)

For Geez Magazine:

The Necessary Weirdness of Global Silly-Darity
Reflections on the Wilds Beyond Climate Justice by the strange foursome that stewarded it By Owólabi Aboyade, Aerin Dunford, Karen Leu, and Alex Rodríguez This article first appeared in Geez Magazine Issue 66, Global Resistance and Solidarity. To read more and subscribe to this most excellent publ…
Dehonkifying Christ: A Fool’s Errand
Forget the Anti-Christ—the Honky-Christ is the biggest obstacle to the potential for human liberation through the Gospel.

For DownBeat:

Full list of publications for DownBeat, including:

The Deepening Power Of Antibalas
Despite marking two decades as a band, Antibalas recently released its first album that digs deep into Nigerian-American lead singer Duke Amayo’s unique compositional approach. Fu Chronicles (Daptone 060; 48:37 ****) highlights his…
The Durability Of Drummer Rashied Ali’s Survival Records
Although the legendary jazz drummer Rashied Ali is best known for his work as one of John Coltrane’s pathbreaking late-career collaborators, his next steps after Coltrane’s abrupt passing in 1967 also are rich with creativity. A…
Anna Webber’s ‘Clockwise’ Spans Musical Worlds
For decades, jazz composers have struggled for the recognition and resources enjoyed by their classically oriented counterparts. But for a new generation of jazz performers, that finally might be changing. Clockwise, a new release on…

For Lion's Roar:

In the Moment: Saxophonist Jeff Lederer on new album “Eightfold...
Alex W. Rodríguez talks to saxophonist and composer Jeff Lederer about Sunwatcher Quartert’s latest album “Eightfold Path.”
Reflecting on a Year of Buddhist Action for Immigrant Justice in Oregon - Lion’s Roar
Activist Alex Rodriguez looks back on the work Buddhists have done to foster at the Oregon ICE headquarters in Portland.

For Sounding Out!:

The Sound of Feminist Snap, or Why I Interrupted the 2018 SEM Business Meeting
I begin this essay with an apology, addressed to the Society for Ethnomusicology President Gregory Barz: I am sorry that I interrupted your opening remarks at least year’s SEM Business meeting. In…

For NPR Music:

Full list of publications for NPR Music, including:

A Jazz Institution Moves Back Home To Los Angeles
Jazz’s highest-profile competition recently crowned a new victor in a star-studded gala. But for the Thelonious Monk Institute, competition is only a small part of its desire to be back out West.
A Saxophonist From Santiago Cracks The Stateside Scene
Growing up in Chile, Melissa Aldana insisted on playing in clubs and transcribed solos like mad — as her father did before her. Her youthful dedication is beginning to pay off.
In Los Angeles, An Immigrant’s Dream Becomes A Jazz Hub
In the middle of a national recession, vocalist Joon Lee stopped recording his debut album because he thought the time was right to open a jazz club. The Los Angeles jazz community has been in agreement ever since.

For LA Weekly:

Tigran Hamasyan - The Alex Theatre - 4-22-14 - LA Weekly
Tigran Hamasyan The Alex Theater 4-22-14 Better Than ... nursing a Coachella hangover. Los Angeles hosts genre-bending experimentalism at dance clubs and festival stages all the time - but for one night at least, hip underground clubgoers weren’t the ones with their finger on the pulse. Instead, it…
Jessica Jones, Hitomi Oba - Blue Whale - 7/24/12
By Alex W. Rodriguez Jessica Jones and Hitomi Oba Blue Whale 7/24/12 Better than... “All of the shitty indie bands I’ve ever seen, combined” - quote from my singer/songwriter friend who tagged along for the show. With the opening phrases of moody, resonant counterpoint between the two tenor saxophon…

For Ethnomusicology Review:

Full list of publications for Ethnomusicology Review, including:

Interview with Sonny Rollins, Musical and Spiritual Autodidact
When I first spoke with jazz saxophone legend Sonny Rollins in May 2011, interviewing him in advance of a concert in Newark, I remember being struck by the combination of confident dedication and play
The Word Jazz in the Jazz World
In December 1917, U.S. Merchant Marine Truman Blair Cook wrote a diary entry describing his crew’s arrival in Arica, Chile—a small mining town near the country’s northern border. The
Improvising Global Connection in Santiago, Chile
On January 26, my fieldwork in Santiago, Chile took an unforgettable turn when I took to the patio of a shared artists’ house to perform a set of improvised music with three Chilean jazz musicia

For The Village Voice:

Ten (More) Jazz Albums to Hear Before You Die - The Village Voice
By Matthew Kassel and Alex W. Rodriguez Yesterday’s much celebrated “Ten Jazz Albums to Hear Before You Die” post was a starter course, an easily digestible, rudimentary entry into the storied genre that not one person on the planet disagreed with. But today, we go further. Because for every Blue Tr…

For The Newark Star-Ledger:

Full list of publications for The Newark Star-Ledger, including:

Kenny G is musically predictable, but reliably entertaining
Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-LedgerSmooth-jazz saxophonist Kenny G presented a crowd-pleasing show at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Friday night. By Alex W. Rodriguez/For The Star-Ledger Within months of discovering jazz, most young musicians are taught to hate Kenny G....
Saxophonist Wayne Shorter still searching for new sounds
Will perform at Town Hall in New York on Feb. 9
Innovative Jazz Passengers preview reunion album with a playful concert
John Munson/The Star-LedgerThe inventive septet the Jazz Passengers (from left, Curtis Fowlkes, Roy Nathanson, Bill Ware, Brad Jones, Sam Bardfeld, Marc Ribot and E.J. Rodriguez) present a reunion show Tuesday night in New York. By Alex W. Rodriguez For The...

More writing and links to other work can be found at my old jazz blog, Lubricity, which ran from 2009-2020. A few favorites:

Tigran Hamasyan @ Blue Whale: An Improvised Concert Review
On Wednesday night, I finally made it back to my favorite LA jazz club, blue whale. Pianist Tigran Hamasyan was playing a solo show, and I knew that it was going to be something that I’d regr…
Jazz is Not a Genre
UPDATE: I’m bumping this up in case you missed it over the weekend … with a few minor edits: Now that I’ve calmed down a bit after my somewhat-jumbled thoughts about Winter JazzFe…
A Word That Makes Me Cringe
My rant against the word “jazzer”
Big Joe, Big Tea, Me
Nonlinear jazz history and a pair of obscure videos.