John earned his masters in Jazz and Classical Guitar Performance from the University of Arkansas and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Michigan, where he specialized in ethnomusicology and jazz. His secondary areas included the history of American popular and folk music and music in the African diaspora.
John’s combination of academic knowledge and practical experience allows him to communicate a sophisticated understanding of jazz, world music, and contemporary music that is popular with his students. He received an award for a course he taught at the University of Michigan. He has also taught at Columbia College, the University of Illinois, DePaul University, and University of Arkansas.
John’s course topics have included jazz history and the role of jazz in American culture, literature, and art; African American music; popular music; American music history; world music; and ethnomusicology. He has also taught jazz guitar, classical guitar, jazz improvisation, and jazz combos.