The Society for Ethnomusicology will meet in Los Angeles 11-14 November 2010, with a pre-conference honoring of the life and work of Nazir Jaraizbhoy, co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology and the SEM South Asia Performing Arts sub-group, on November 10th.  While the primary location of the meeting is the Wilshire Grand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, we do plan a reception, banquet, and evening concert on the UCLA campus November 13th. The meeting’s theme is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ethnomusicology Institute and program at UCLA.

The current department grew out of the former Institute of Ethnomusicology, established by Mantle Hood at UCLA in 1960. In its early years many distinguished scholars, including Hood, Charles Seeger, and J. H. Kwabena Nketia collaborated in advancing the vision of the Institute. From the 1960s to 1989 Ethnomusicology was a program within the Department of Music, and since 1989 it has been an independent department. The Department of Ethnomusicology and Systematic Musicology was founded in 1989, renamed the Department of Ethnomusicology in 1995, and currently offers undergraduate degrees in World Music and Jazz, and graduate degrees in Ethnomusicology and Systematic musicology. In 2007, the department officially affiliated with the new Herb Alpert School of Music, established by a $30 million endowment gift made possible through the generosity of the renowned, performer, producer and philanthropist Herb Alpert and his wife Lani Hall Alpert.

Los Angeles in early November usually has excellent weather, with daytime highs in the mid 70s. Rain at this time of year is rare, but not unknown.  Our hotel, the Wilshire Grand, is located only a block from the 7th Street Metro Center, allowing access to public transportation links throughout the city (including Metro trains from the Los Angeles World Airport or Union Station to the meeting). A local area small-bus transport system known as DASH gives attendees the opportunity to explore downtown LA with ease, although quite a few attractions are within walking distance, including the new Grammy Museum (three blocks from the hotel), Nokia Theater, Los Angeles Theater, and of course Walt Disney Concert Hall. Further afield, but directly down Wilshire Blvd, is a cluster of museums including the Peterson Automobile Museum, Arts and Crafts Museum, and the famed Page Museum, home of the La Brea Tar pits.

The Local Arrangements committee is busy planning a full menu of concert performances by UCLA and Cal State Northridge groups to accompany the scholarly program, and is sponsoring a special workshop in ethnographic video making for graduate students. Additional activities include the possibility of a workshop and evening performance with the Balinese performing group Gamelan Çudamani on November 10th at the UCLA campus, and a special tour of the Grammy Museum for conference attendees.

The Local Arrangements Committee and the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology look forward to welcoming you to Los Angeles and the UCLA campus.

Tara Browner, Local Arrangements Committee Chair