Image of Gavin Elliott Webb

Contact Information

Academic School

School of Communication and the Arts


Hancock 2009



(845) 575-3330, ext. 2331

Gavin Elliott Webb

Lecturer in Music


Gavin is a musician and ethnomusicologist with particular interest in urbanization and urbanism, secular and sacred drum-dance traditions, social transformation, historicity, and articulations of identity in Africa and the African Diaspora.  

From 2000 – 2012 he was based at the Institute for African Studies within the University of Ghana where he ran fully accredited undergraduate international education programs for the School for International Training focused on arts and social transformation, as well as urban ethnomusicology. In 2009 he served as Associate Academic Dean for Africa, overseeing a multidisciplinary and evolving portfolio of programs in West, Central, and Southern Africa. Gavin’s musical explorations have taken him across the African continent, but with specific research experiences in Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, and Mali.  During his 14 years in Ghana, he recorded and produced commercial recordings for a number of Ewe funeral society ensembles and artistic groups.  He served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Binghamton University for 5 years before joining Marist in 2017.  Gavin’s teaching focuses on ethnomusicology and the transformation of music cultures from around the world.


PhD  Musicology, University of Ghana
MA Musicology, University of Ghana
BMus (cum laude) Professional Music, Berklee College of Music

Selected Publications

Review: “Highlife Time 3.” by John Collins.  African Studies Review 62.4 (December, 2019). E21-E23. 

“Towards Integrating Problem-Based Learning in the Ethnomusicology Curriculum: Reflections Based on the Study of Music Traditions from Africa”.  Problem-Based Learning in the College Music Classroom, edited by Natalie Sarrazin.  New York: Routledge, 2019. 

“Student Empowerment through Study Abroad.”  With John Peters in Education as the Tool for Empowerment, edited by Elizabeth Quinn and John Scileppi.  Washington D.C.: New Academia Press, 2016. 

“Ma La Ma Wie Ga (“I will Sing and Speak Ga”): Wulomei and the Articulation of Ga Identity in Stylized Form.”  African Music 10.1, 2015.  52-83.  


Selected Presentations

Musicking Bodies.  Panel Chair.
University of Toronto’s two-day Graduate Conference themed on ‘Sounding Bodies’.  University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.  March 2013.  

Musical Sounds and Silences: Violence, Contested Meanings, and Spaces in Accra, Ghana.
School for International Training’s symposium on ‘Conflict, Memory, and Reconciliation: Bridging Past, Present, and Future.‘  Kigali, Rwanda.  January 2012. 

Urban Pressures, Articulations, and Bodily Expressivity: Wulomei and the Embodiment of Ga Identity in Stylistic Form. 
Joint meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology and Congress on Research in Dance (CORD).  Philadelphia, PA, USA. November 2011.  

Representation.  Forum Chair.
Two-Day International Conference in Honour of Emeritus Professor J. H. Kwabena Nketia: ‘The Life and Works of Emeritus Prof. J. H. Kwabena Nketia‘, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon.  September 2011.

Perspectives on the Ga Folk Music Phenomenon: Past and Present. 
53rd Annual Meeting for the Society for Ethnomusicology.  Wesleyan University, CT, USA.  October 2008.    

Akan Names, Ga Language, and Ewe Music: Urban Performance Realities in Contemporary Accra, Ghana. 
52nd Annual Meeting for the Society for Ethnomusicology.   Columbus, Ohio, USA.  October 2007.