Jacob Sunshine is an Assistant Professor in the Rhodes College Department of Music, where he teaches courses in Ethnomusicology, Urban Studies, Latin American Studies, and Africana Studies. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University in Anthropology and Jazz Studies and he will be defending his doctoral dissertation in Ethnomusicology at Harvard University during the summer of 2023.
A scholar of sound cultures in the Caribbean, Africa, and the United States, his current book project, Dejala Corre: The Sonic Infrastructure of Sociality on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast focuses on sound system culture in Barranquilla, Colombia, the West and Central African guitar music that these sound systems play, and urban conflict over sound in public space. He has presented his research at the Society of Ethnomusicology national conference, and given guest lectures at the University of Michigan, Berklee College of Music, and Universidad del Norte. His research has been supported by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Mellon Urban Initiative. Along with his research on Caribbean music cultures, Prof. Sunshine has a research and performance background in the blues, rock, soul, hip-hop, and gospel music and is excited to work closely with Memphis' musical community through the Mike Curb Institute.
Prof. Sunshine is also an electric guitarist, writer, solo artist, and producer and has collaborated and recorded with a diverse array of New York and Boston-based groups and solo artists including Pear Moth, Cordelia, Jazze Belle, Oliver Ignatius, Conrad Tao, and Ghais Guevara. He directed Harvard's GSAS Jazz Ensembles and currently maintains a private guitar studio.