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Mark Slobin






This dissertation examines the social production of musical and cultural identity mediated through performance and the development of communitas among a subset of Colombian cohort musicians in the New York City diaspora between 1995 and 2010. Through an ethnomusicological analysis of ethnographic and historical data, I discuss social phenomena involving transnational migration, musical performance, and intercultural aesthetic interaction for processes of cultural production and identity formation. I argue that the evolution and efflorescence of this cosmopolitan musicians community reflects both an entry of new modes of Colombian musical expressions into the pan-Latin/o urban soundscape and the transformation of Colombianidad, or sense of Colombian identity, among its members to an unprecedented degree.

Through the conceptual and theoretical frameworks of interculturalism and performance, augmented and supported by indigeneity and music and violence as discursive tangents, the study focuses upon details of musical form, nuance, and contestations and tensions associated with the construction of a particular diasporic Colombianness. Documenting selected key individuals, organizations, and institutions involved with the creation, production, and performance of traditional, neo-traditional, and contemporary new Colombian musics in New York City, I viii discuss the historical and cultural contexts as well as the strategic multiplicities in which the social production of music is embedded and manifested. Focusing upon the contemporary musical practices of the musicians, the dissertation investigates performance, reception, and tropes of self-representation at local, translocal, and transnational and global levels. As new generations of New York Colombian musicians achieve status and garner spaces for new Colombian musics among Latin/o and world musics, I expose transformations within the diasporic Colombian community through its resolute socio-cultural resilience, underlying interculturality, and desire to represent themselves.



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