Kyle DeCoste

PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology

Kyle DeCoste (he/him) is a scholar of popular music from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. He is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Music at Tulane University and a PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University. His work, which is often collaborative and ethnographic, examines how sound—and popular music in particular—is used to articulate and contest ideas about race, gender, class, and childhood.

He is the co-author with the Stooges Brass Band of Can’t Be Faded: Twenty Years in the New Orleans Brass Band Game (2020, University Press of Mississippi), a twenty-year retrospective of New Orleans’ brass band scene, for which he received the 2021 Zora Neale Hurston Prize from the American Folklore Society. His writing has been published in The Journal of Popular Music Studies, Ethnomusicology, and the Journal of the Society for American Music. His conference papers have received awards from the Canadian and U.S. branches of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, and he regularly presents papers at meetings of the American Studies Association, the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the Pop Conference.

In addition to his dissertation, Kyle is working on two other book projects. The first which he is co-authoring with Alex Blue V, is an ethnography of country rap (a.k.a. “hick-hop”) that examines issues of race, gender, class, and nationalism in the Southern United States. The second is a history of New Orleans’ only all-woman brass band, the Original Pinettes Brass Band, which applies a Black feminist lens to brass band performance.

Columbia Degrees: 
MPhil, Ethnomusicology
MA, Ethnomusicology
Degrees from Other Institutions: 
Tulane University
with honors
Music, Arts Administration
Bishop's University