Dr. Jasmine Henry (she/her) is a musicologist and sound engineer specializing in twentieth and twenty-first-century African American popular music. Her research interests include Black electronic dance music and club cultures, DIY and independent music production, Afrofuturism, and the historiography of African American music. Her teaching and research engage with the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, sound studies, performance studies, critical race theory, and urban geography. Her recent articles and reviews on popular music, race, and production appear in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of the Society for American Music, and Popular Culture Studies Journal. Henry has presented on topics ranging from critical race issues at the GRAMMYs, Frank Ocean’s sonic aesthetics, DIY hip-hop recording studios, music history pedagogy, and live Jersey Club music performances at national and international conferences. She has won multiple prizes based on her presentations including the University of North Texas’ Graham Phipps, Society for American Music’s Mark Tucker, and the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Dance, Movement, and Gesture Section’s Clara Henderson (honorable mention) awards.
Henry is currently conducting fieldwork for a book project focused on contemporary Black club music, history, and culture in Newark, New Jersey. An extension of her doctoral dissertation, Jersey Club: Race, Place and Black Independent Music-Making in Newark, New Jersey, this project draws from archival, oral history, and ethnographic methods to critically examine the history of Black urban club music and party cultures in Newark and how contemporary participants navigate the transhistorical cultural politics of Black club music production and performance on local, regional, and global levels. By centering Newark, a predominantly Black urban city deeply embodied with legacies of Black cultural nationalism, she demonstrates how participants engage with the historical erasure and appropriation of Black club music by the mainstream EDM industry while working to reclaim electronic dance music as Black music through their independent music production and performance practices.
Henry’s scholarly practices are deeply informed by her own music production background. As a live sound engineer, she has entertained international audiences through her work on critically acclaimed productions such as the Blue Man Group, HBO’s The Newsroom, and Broadway’s Chicago the Musical. From 2012 to 2017, Henry served as a co-owner and recording engineer for M2P Records, an independent label specializing in diverse styles of music production and artist management. From 2017 to 2022, she served as the Media Lab Director at the Newark School of the Arts where she provided youth from historically marginalized backgrounds with access to music technologies and industry knowledge.
Henry holds degrees in sound engineering, music management, and musicology from William Paterson University and Rutgers University. Prior to her appointment at Penn, she served as a Predoctoral Teaching Fellow at William Paterson University and Future of Music Faculty Fellow at the Cleveland Institute of Music.