I am an ethnomusicologist, violinist, and visual ethnographer with a PhD from the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology. My research interests include Latin American popular music, ethnomusicological filmmaking and multimodal approaches to ethnographic scholarship, studies of music and neurodiversity and aging, and participatory music scenes as sites of social activism across the Americas and Europe.

My current multimodal book project explores the politics and social aesthetics of neighborhood tango music scenes in Buenos Aires through the lens of experiential film, photography, and written ethnography.

For the 2018-2019 year I am working in the UCSF Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics as the lead Clinical Researcher on an exciting cross-sectional study of music in dementia caregiving relationships. Although living in San Francisco, I am still connected as a Visiting Research Associate to the Indiana University Bloomington Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology , where I taught from 2016-2018. Prior to IU, I worked as a Faculty Fellow at Colby in the Departments of Music and Latin American Studies.

As a violinist, I play Argentine tango and folklore, bluegrass & old-time fiddle, and Sicilian popular music.

Part of this website is devoted to my research on the politics of neighborhood tango music scenes in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For over a decade, I have studied tango music as a form of participatory urban socialization and as a form of urban activism. As a multimodal ethnographer, I use film, photography and writing to produce local visual and sensory understandings of tango as a live-music culture, not "for-export."  I have been involved with tango music in Buenos Aires since 2005 as a violinist, filmmaker, photographer, community organizer and researcher.

Information about my secondary research project about music and dementia is also featured on this site. This project involves a service-learning and filmmaking course I built at IU Bloomington called “Music and Memory: Studying music and Alzheimer’s through film” that explores the health and wellness benefits of personalized music for older adults living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. My research on this topic involves the use of sensory filmmaking as a mode of teaching undergraduates about person-centered approaches to dementia-care as well as about how to use digital storytelling as a vehicle for public advocacy and education.

Contact:  jgubner@indiana.edu

Indiana University Bloomington Profile