Dr. Cheryl Keyes

Ethnomusicologist

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Cheryl L. Keyes is the author of Rap Music and Street Consciousness (University of Illinois Press), Her work in hip-hop studies is recognized amongst peers as the first ethnographic study on rap music. Additionally, Keyes has written essays on funk-rock diva Betty Mabry Davis, legendary jazz trombonist-composer-arranger Melba Liston, New Orleans piano rock pioneer Professor Longhair along with several publications in journals and as book chapters. Keyes’s scholarship has advanced into other areas including producing, writing, and directing a documentary (short) called Beyond Central Avenue: Contemporary Female Jazz Instrumentalists of Los Angeles. In addition, she has served as musical director for the “Lady Jazz: Blues in the Summertime” concert, commissioned by Instrumental Women Project™.
In the area of performance, Professor Keyes is a pianist, flutist, singer, and composer with a list of credits. Most noted are performances with the All-Girl All-Star Invitational Band under the direction of the legendary jazz flugelhornist Clark Terry and as a featured artist-composer on The Other Side of Eddie Bo with New Orleans rhythm and blues icon Eddie Bo. She has also recorded with jazz clarinetist-educator Alvin Batiste in which Keyes performs keyboards on Batiste’s debut album, Musique D’Afrique Nouvelle Orleans. Keyes is a recipient of numerous awards: NAACP Image Award in the category of “Outstanding World Music Album” for her debut CD, Let Me Take You There (Keycan Records); Global Music Award Silver Medal for “Outstanding Achievement” for her double-single CD Hollywood and Vine (Keycan Records); and the Indiana University’s Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award.
Professor Keyes is currently Chair of the Department of African American Studies at UCLA. She holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology/Folklore, Indiana University, and M. M.E. Music Education, Indiana University, and a B.M.E. Music Education, Xavier University of Louisiana