Join BSC Abolition Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Victoria Grubbs for a documentary screening of Hit2Hit: Battle of Celebrated Rwandan Music Producers Trackslayer and Dr. Nganji and conversation with The Trackslayer and Dr. Nganji, two of Rwanda’s top music producers, and Dr. James Gordon Williams, Assistant Professor Music at UC Santa Cruz. The discussion will aim to spark a broader dialogue about the function of popular music in a post-genocide context.
Victoria Grubbs, Abolition Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow, Black Studies Collaboratory, Department of African American Studies, UC Berkeley
Victoria Netanus Grubbs is a black feminist abolitionist educator committed to developing radical leadership in underserved communities in the U.S. and abroad. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University in May 2021.
Her current book project, Kumva Meze Neza: Sounding Blackness in Rwanda, examines how popular Rwandan music works in the aftermath of genocide to produce a collective social body. Drawing on six years of participant observation amongst Rwandan music industry professionals and their audiences, her work demonstrates how shared investments in the sensory experience of blackness produce formations of togetherness that defy traditional organizing categories. Victoria is also the founder of the recording studio and label GMC Records Rwanda.
Dr. James Gordon Williams, Assistant Professor of Music, UC Santa Cruz
James Gordon Williams is a composer, pianist, improviser, and cultural theorist. He has worked with artists Crystal Z. Campbell, Cauleen Smith, Suné Woods, MacArthur Fellow Fred Moten, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis, Miles Griffith, Gregory Porter, MacArthur Fellow George E. Lewis, Mark Dresser, Greg Osby, and Charli Persips’ Supersound big band and many other luminaires. He has performed in such storied places as Birdland, Village Vanguard, and many music festivals in the United States, Malta, Switzerland, France, and Italy. Recent composition projects include Syracuse Stage commissioned music for playwright Kyle Bass’s salt/city/blues and an original commissioned work for Compagnia de’ Colombari. He is the author of Crossing Bar Lines: The Politics and Practices of Black Musical Space (2021) which has been described as: “An elegant and theoretically rich book steeped in jazz performance praxis, contemporary musicological research, and Black feminist geography, Crossing Bar Lines highlights how Black lived experience, music-making, and politicized Black place-building have long been entwined in the broader U.S. cultural field . . . Williams’s book will undoubtedly serve as a rich guide for listeners, musicians, scholars, and critics seeking the space in which to live, to make, and to breathe.” Dr. Williams’s peer-reviewed articles have appeared in Ethnomusicology Review, Jazz & Culture, Jazz Research Journal, Journal of African American Studies, Liquid Blackness, and Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories That Shaped Our Culture. He is an assistant professor of Composition in African American/Global-African Traditions in the Department of Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to this position, he taught music in the Department of African American Studies at Syracuse University. He holds a Ph.D. in music from the University of California, San Diego. He is a member of the Society of American Music and the American Musicological Society.
The Trackslayer, Music Producer, Rwanda
Follow The Trackslayer on Instagram @the_trackslayer_music
Dr. Nganji, Music Producer, Rwanda
Follow Dr. Nganji on Instagram @greenferrymusic