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Javier Leon appointed director of Latin American Music Center at IU Jacobs School of Music

July 14, 2015 

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Javier León as academic specialist and director of its Latin American Music Center, effective July 1. 

León was most recently assistant professor of folklore and ethnomusicology at IU. 

“Javier’s combination of performance, research and IU experience makes him the ideal candidate for our new director,” said Jacobs Dean Gwyn Richards. “We are excited by his appointment and look forward to supporting his leadership in the years ahead.” 

“Since 1961, the Latin American Music Center has occupied an important place within the development of the study and performance of Latin American music, both within Latin America and the United States,” said León. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead this important center, and I look forward to working with the vibrant community of students, faculty and staff at the Jacobs School of Music.” 

León received his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to being a faculty member at the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University, he has been a faculty member at the Newcomb Department of Music and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University.  

He is an experienced performer and ensemble director of a variety of Latin American and Caribbean genres. His research interests have dealt with multiple aspects of music in the region, including music and nationalism, the intersection of popular and art music traditions, African and indigenous musical heritage safeguarding, and the history of cultural policy and music research institutions in the region.  

León’s work has been published in a number of research journals, edited volumes and reference works. Most recently, he was co-editor of the forthcoming volume “A Latin American Musical Reader: Views from the South” (University of Illinois Press). 

He has been a consultant for a number of music arts institutions, including the Music Instrument Museum, National Endowment for the Arts and Smithsonian Institution.