Kayleen Justus is a Part-time Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and World Music at Kennesaw
State University. As a scholar, her primary research interests center on the role
of music in memory and personhood, Trinidadian steel band in the Caribbean and beyond,
and American music history. Dr. Justus has presented her academic work at various
international and regional conferences, including the Society for Ethnomusicology,
the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the American Anthropological
Association, and the Eastern Caribbean Islands Cultures Conference. Her work has recently
been published in the SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture (2019), the Society for American Musicology Bulletin (Spring 2018), Pan Magazine (2016), and The World of Music Journal (2014).
Kayleen earned her Ph.D. in Musicology from Florida State University in 2014, after completing two years of interdisciplinary field research with the Alzheimer’s Project. Her dissertation, “Music, Dementia, and the Reality of Being Yourself,” is grounded in the ethnographic method of participant-observation and explores the relationship between music, consciousness, and human subjectivity. Dr. Justus also holds a M.M. in Ethnomusicology, which she earned in at Florida State University in 2008 after completing her thesis, “Memetics, Media, and Groove: Musical Experience in Two Florida Steelbands.”
Dr. Justus has served as the director of university and community steel bands since 2007 and she performs and records as a pan player in the United States and the Caribbean. She has performed concerts with notable musicians, including the calypsonian Willard “Lord Relator” Harris, Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman, jazz pannist Andy Narell, Trinidadian arranger Ray Holman, drummer Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction, drummer Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, and bassist Billy Sheehan of Mr. Big. She has recorded several world music albums, including Sasa Nifanye Nini (2012), which featured members of the Tanzanian group Mlimani Park Orchestra, and two albums by the Miami University Steel Band – One More Soca (2003) and Burnin’ (2001). Dr. Justus has also been featured on two recent “Pan Rocks!” album and documentary projects: Pan Rocks! Project L.A. (2017) and Pan Rocks! RUSH (2018).
At Kennesaw State University, Dr. Justus teaches MUSI 1107 - “Arts in Society: Music,” MUSI 1107 - “Arts in Society: World Music,” MUSI 3311/2 - “History of Western Music I and II,” MUSI 4490 “Music of the Caribbean," MUSI 4490 "African Soundscapes," and MUSI 4490 "Traditional and Popular Music of Latin America."