Dawn Norfleet

Dawn Norfleet

Dawn Norfleet is a Los Angeles-based jazz vocalist, flutist and composer. Her academic and musical journey began in Los Angeles where her musical talents were nurtured by a musical family and public school music programs. After graduating with honors from Wellesley College, she attended Columbia University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, earning an M.A. and Ph.D. in Music (composition and ethnomusicology, respectively). While researching underground hip-hop culture in New York City for her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Norfleet also discovered that city's vibrant jazz scene. There, she began her musical career among some of the most respected jazz musicians of her generation, including Vijay Iyer and Andy Milne. The musician and scholar nicknamed "Dr. Dawn" eventually returned to the West Coast and immersed herself in the Los Angeles music community, while maintaining ties to education and academia. She is a respected bandleader and accompanying musician, having performed with Marvin "Smitty" Smith and Jeff Lorber, and appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, accompanying R&B vocalist, Monica. She also appears on critically-acclaimed saxophonist, Kamasi Washington's debut recording, The Epic, and self-produced two of her own recordings. She has performed and/or presented at Lewis and Clark College, Wellesley College, University of California, Irvine and University of Virginia, and taught at California State University, Pomona, Grinnell College, and University of California, San Diego. In 2016, she was selected to write an orchestral composition for the American Composers Orchestra New Music Readings; in 2014, she was a participant in the prestigious Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. Dr. Dawn also contributed to the scholarly music publication, African American Music: an Introduction (Routledge, 2015 and 2006) and Black Enterprise Magazine (December 1999). She is active on social media sites as "Dawn Norfleet Music" on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, SoundCloud and Myspace. Her music can be purchased online through iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon.


"Hip-Hop and Rap" in African American Music: an Introduction (M. Burnim and P. Maultsby, eds.), Routledge 2015.

"A Sound Investment: Here's a Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Own Home Studio and Tips on Turning a Profit", Black Enterprise Magazine (co-written with Monique R. Brown), December 1999.

Contact: Dawn Norfleet Music P.O. Box 88662, Los Angeles, CA 90009

DrDawnN [at] aol.com

Imaginate - with Dawn Norfleet & Andy Milne @ Wellesley College

Love Will Find You (Live), by Dawn Norfleet

Infant Eyes, Sung by Dawn Norfleet

Dawn Norfleet & Friends - Some Hot In A Jar 2016-01-23 Plummer Park, WeHo

"Hip-hop culture" in New York City: The role of verbal musical performance in defining a community
Columbia Degrees: 
PhD, Ethnomusicology