Renowned music scholar and musician Jason King will be the next dean of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, effective July 1.
“From all the meetings I had — with President Folt, with the students, with the staff, with the faculty — I felt an overwhelming sense of exuberance and commitment to excellence,” Professor King said. “USC Thornton felt like a place of great love — a place that wasn’t just a school, but a place that people felt was a kind of home.
“I think of myself as an institution builder: somebody who can identify an opportunity and build a structure and institution around that opportunity,” Dr. King added. “I see an opportunity with USC Thornton to take an already legendary school and help shape its 21st-century vision of what a music school can be.”
Dr. King currently serves as chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University. He is the institute’s founding full-time faculty member.
Dr. King’s musical interests and accomplishments span multiple genres, including classical, pop, R&B, gospel, jazz, rock, and other styles. As a scholar and public intellectual, Professor King has created multidisciplinary work in the fields of African American and African diasporic cultural studies; performance studies; globalization and transnationalism studies; media and technology studies; music business, marketing and branding studies; and gender and queer studies. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Popular Music Studies. He is the author of The Michael Jackson Treasures: Celebrating the King of Pop in Photos and Memorabilia (Fall River Press, 2009).
Preofessor King, who was born in Canada to Trinidadian immigrant parents, holds a Ph.D. in music performance studies from New York University.