I am Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, where I produce the annual Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio, the first, longest-running, and most important conjunto festival, and also work on development and other projects.
Trained originally as a historian,I have long done consulting and grant writing for music festivals, archives, and non-profits focused on history, traditional music, and cultural sustainability. I believe very strongly that interdisciplinary and immersive cultural experiences are the basis for social and intellectual success, true cross-cultural understanding, and impactful future leadership.
I write on a wide variety of interdisciplinary topics related to the global history, musics, and cultures of the United States. I also publish regularly in ethnomusicology and folklore, particularly related to Texas-Mexican conjunto music, Mexican migrant music cultures, and vernacular musics of the United States
I’m also involved in a number of applied ethnomusicological and public folklore projects such as the Festival of Texas Fiddling, which I founded in 2014 and for which I continue to serve as President and Artistic Director. The Festival of Texas Fiddling is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in San Antonio. I also started the mulitcultural Festival of Virginia Fiddling, which just had its 2nd event in August, 2022
My current historical research focuses on legal spatiality related to offshore mineral extraction in the submerged lands of the continental shelf. Check out my research and recent publications page.
I retired as Professor and Chair of the History Department at Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach after 22 years. I offered courses on U.S. history and culture, foreign relations, sound and noise, and selected topics in Asian history. Also a class on beekeeping!