Jesse Abel Chevan

PhD Student in Ethnomusicology

Jesse Chevan is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology who researches topics in African American religious music. His dissertation fieldwork focuses on instrumental worship music and especially the ways in which extra-linguistic sound facilitates direct encounters with the Holy Spirit. At the heart of this work is the intertwining of human and instrumental voices as worshippers distinguish the sacred and profane in sound. Jesse has also worked as a professional drummer and percussionist on the NYC music scene, performing a range of musics including New Orleans brass band, afrobeat, jazz, hip hop, and klezmer. At Columbia, Jesse has taught several semesters of Asian Music Humanities and is currently a Core Preceptor for Contemporary Civilization.