Donald James is an ethnomusicologist, musician, and music writer based in Boston. His Ph.D research investigated the effects of cultural policy on jazz musicians and style on the Paris scene in the mid-2000s. He has written on jazz and popular music for a variety of outlets—most notably, WGBH’s Front Row Boston, where he is the managing editor. James was also host and producer of Exploring Black Music, a podcast of the Center for Black Music Research.
James is a lecturer in ethnomusicology at Boston College and has taught at a number of institutions in the Boston area. He has lectured publicly on French cultural policy and jazz at the Copenhagen Philosophy Forum’s lecture series on Jazz and Philosophy, and various conferences and venues in the US and Europe. Most recently, James has begun work on a research project on cultural labor and the political economy of music in the Shoals region of Alabama.