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My career as a performer and educator has been shaped tremendously by the insights and contextual awareness gained during my Graduate Studies in ethnomusicology, back around the turn of the millennium, at Tufts University. While I did not choose a fully academic path as a result of this work, my interest and work in this area always continues, primarily in support of my Liberal Arts courses on Cuban and Brazilian topics at Berklee, but also for my instrumental instruction in general. More than ever context is everything, and especially for marginalized musical traditions such as those from the African diaspora, and particularly the genres at the core of much of today's mainstream music in the Americas. Over the past, I have given lectures at Princeton, Harvard, SOAS/University of London, and continue to write on occasion, as well.