Matt Sakakeeny, 2023–24 | National Humanities Center

Matt Sakakeeny (NHC Fellow, 2023–24)

Project Title

Music is Life: Coming-of-Age Stories from the Margins of America

Fellows’ Fellowship; NEH Fellowship, 2023–24

Associate Professor of Music, Tulane University

Matt Sakakeeny is associate professor of music at Tulane University. He is an anthropologist studying music and sound in relation to structures of inequality in the United States. His book, Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans, follows brass band musicians as they march off the streets and into nightclubs, festival grounds, and recording studios. Sakakeeny’s research also brings an ethnomusicological perspective to sound studies. Along with David Novak, he edited the reference work Keywords in Sound, a collection of 20 entries written by leading scholars in the field of sound studies. Beyond music and sound, Sakakeeny researches New Orleans history and culture. He edited the volume Remaking New Orleans: Beyond Exceptionalism and Authenticity, with Thomas Adams. Sakakeeny’s articles have appeared in the journals Southern Cultures, Souls, Ethnomusicology, and Black Music Research Journal. He has received grants from the Spencer Foundation and the National Humanities Center for his next monograph about marching band education in the New Orleans school system. Sakakeeny is a board member of two nonprofit organizations, The Roots of Music afterschool program and the Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund.

Selected Publications

Remaking New Orleans

  • Sakakeeny, Matt. Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013.
  • Novak, David, and Matt Sakakeeny, eds. Keywords in Sound. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.
  • Adams, Thomas Jessen, and Matt Sakakeeny. Remaking New Orleans: Beyond Exceptionalism and Authenticity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.
  • Sakakeeny, Matt. “‘We’re Not Just Shooting the Breeze’: Marching Bands and Black Masculinity in New Orleans.” Southern Cultures 27, no. 4 (2022): 44–65.
  • Sakakeeny, Matt. “Music Lessons as Life Lessons in New Orleans Marching Bands.” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society 17, no. 3–4 (2015): 279–302.
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