Keynote Speakers

Prof Ramsey1

Guthrie P Ramsey, Jr. is the Edmund J and Louise W Kahn Term Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania.  A widely published writer, he is the author of Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop (University of California Press, 2003). It was named outstanding book of the year by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). He has recently also completed In Walked Bud: Earl 'Bud' Powell and the Modern Jazz Challenge, which is forthcoming from the University of California Press. His next book, Who Hears Here?: Essays on Black Music History and Society, a mid-career collection of his essays, is also forthcoming. Ramsey received his doctorate in Musicology from the University of Michigan and taught at Tufts University before joining the U-Penn faculty in 1998. He was a Thurgood Marshall Dissertation Fellow at Dartmouth College, a DuBois Institute Fellow at Harvard University, and has been a visiting professor at Princeton University and Harvard University. He is a pianist, composer, and arranger for his Philadelphia-based band, Dr Guy’s MusiQology. In 2007, the group released a CD titled Y the Q? and in 2012 he released The Colored Waiting Room. The sextet produces original music in a sound blending jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel, neo-soul, and classical.

Among his recent work is Someone Is Listening, a commission (written with Barack Obama’s inaugural poet, Dr Elizabeth Alexander) commemorating the 100th anniversary of the NAACP. He co-curated the 2010 exhibition Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institute. Ramsey was also creative consultant and librettist for Ramsey Lewis’ A Proclamation of Hope: A Symphonic Poem, which premiered in 2009. His three-movement suite for voice and jazz ensemble, Art Songs in the Kingdom of Culture, premiered in February 2012 and was written in tribute to WEB du Bois. Other work include essays in the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial Catalogue, the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art,, and several short films related to the Colored Waiting Room project. Ramsey is the founder and editor of the popular blog,, which is read around the world and boasts more than 65 000 views.

Prof Muller1

Stephanus Muller is a Professor at Stellenbosch University where he lectures in Musicology and is the founder and Principal Investigator of Africa Open – Institute for Music, Research and Innovation that has developed from the Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS). He studied piano with Prof Joseph Stanford and Ms Marian Friedman and organ with Prof SC Zondagh at the University of Pretoria. He completed his BMus degree in Performance in 1992 and studied Musicology at Unisa with Prof Bernhard van der Linde and Prof Niel Geldenhuys.

In 1998, he was awarded an MMus from Unisa and a Master of Studies from the University of Oxford. In 2001, he received his DPhil from Oxford for a thesis on South African music and identity politics written under the supervision of Prof Roger Parker. Before joining Stellenbosch in 2005, he lectured at the University of the Free State. From 2004-2006, he was the Chairman of the Musicological Society of Southern Africa, and he currently serves on the Executive Committee of the South African Society for Research in Music in the capacity of co-editor of the society's journal. He has edited NewMusicSA and a guest issue of SAMUS on the music of Peter Klatzow. He is also the co-editor of A Composer in Africa: Essays on the Life and Work of Stefans Grové (2005) and Gender, Sexuality and Music in South Africa (2004). His acclaimed biographical fiction on the life and work of the composer Arnold van Wyk, Nagmusiek (2014), has been awarded the Jan Rabie-Rapport Book Prize for fiction, the kykNet-Rapport Book Prize for non-fiction, as well as the Debut prize from the University of Johannesburg.

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