Brian Felix holds a Master’s degree in Jazz Performance from DePaul University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. His academic focus is on jazz and popular music, as exemplified in his doctoral thesis, “Rock Becomes Jazz: Interpretations of Popular Music by Improvising Artists in the 1960s.” Felix has extensive performance experience as the keyboardist and co-leader of OM Trio, a jazz-rock group that toured internationally between 1999-2004.
Felix is the co-author of Interactive Listening: A New Approach to Music, an innovative music appreciation textbook and iBook designed for the 21st century student.
William Bares completed his PhD in ethnomusicology in 2009 at Harvard University under the mentorship of Ingrid Monson, Harvard’s Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music. He is currently teaching jazz harmony and improvisation at Harvard and working on a book entitledEternal Triangle: American Jazz in European Postmodern. His scholarly career has been devoted to refining a framework for the study of historical and contemporary transatlantic jazz. This website is a reflection of his evolving interdisciplinary and international perspective.
He is also a bandleader and multi-instrumentalist (piano, trumpet, drums, guitar, ukulele) who has played professionally for many years. Much of his performing has taken place overseas, where he has shared stages with some of the biggest young stars of the European jazz scene. He continues to maintain strong musical connections to Berlin and Oslo, where he did extensive fieldwork; Omaha, his hometown; Miami, where pursued his Master’s degree from 1996-1999; Boston, where he also directed Harvard’s graduate school big band for several years; and New York, his current residence.
As a scholar, and in dialogue with the Harvard Group for New Music (HGNM), Bares continues to probe the boundaries between composition and improvisation. Inspired equally by jazz, minimalism, and African akadinda and balafon music, he has explored ways to integrate shifting improvised right and left-hand ostinatos into his solo and group playing. This technique can be heard in his live recording Evanescent, which was featured in an hour-long program entitled “New Music at Harvard” on German public radio (Deutschlandfunk).