Mark Lomanno, Ph.D.

Mark Lomanno, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Music; Director of Applied Commercial Music
CFA Room 102/Studio #1


Mark Lomanno is an ethnomusicologist and jazz pianist who specializes in the music of the Atlantic world, including Latin America and the Caribbean, the African Diaspora, and the Eastern Atlantic region of Macaronesia (the Azores, Cape Verde, Madeira, and Canary Islands). His courses emphasize analytical and empathetic listening practices as gateways to experiential learning, creative experimentation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community engagement.

Artistic Production

In the music industry Mark has been active as an artist, club manager, consultant, educator, and writer for the past 20 years, mostly in the New York City jazz scene. As a pianist and arranger, he maintains a quartet project which performs repertoire from the Afro-Atlantic world; and is currently collaborating and recording with the Canarian ensemble Simbeque, most recently on their 2018 recording which was awarded both “Best Jazz/Fusion Album” and “Album of the Year” at the Annual Premios de Música in the Canary Islands. Mark has premiered several compositions by the electro-acoustic composer Matthew McCabe and his performances of works by Cuban composers Ignacio Cervantes and Manuel Saumell are featured on the 2007 documentary, Cuba: Rhythm in Motion.

Courses Taught

MUS 103B Commercial Music Ensemble

MUS 109M/209M Applied Theory and Improvisation Studio

MUS 111 Intro to Commercial Music Theory

MUS 121 Black Popular Music

MUS 135 Intro to Music Theory

MUS 211 Music Theory and Aural Skills I

MUS 212 Music Theory and Aural Skills II

SYN 387 Improvisation


Lomanno’s pedagogical, performance, and scholarly work all focus on “critical creative practice,” especially how improvised performance, academic studies, and community engagement intersect. A long-time collaborator with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation and the E.U.-based Rhythm Changes project, Lomanno has conducted ethnographic, archival, and performance work on both sides of the Atlantic, presenting, publishing, and leading workshops throughout the United States and abroad.

His current projects include: editing (with Daniel Fischlin) a forthcoming volume titled The Improviser’s Classroom: Pedagogies of Adaptive Performance, Social Engagement, and Creative Practice; and co-editing a special issue of the journal Critical Studies in Improvisation on improvisation, interdisciplinarity, and the liberal arts. In his forthcoming monograph, Lomanno studies how intercultural jazz performances provide models for more inclusive teaching, writing, and activism.

Professional Activities

Lomanno currently serves as an associate editor of the peer-reviewed journal Jazz Perspectives; and from 2013 to 2017 he served as Chair of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Improvisation Section. In 2012 he founded the blog “The Rhythm of Study,” an open-access website that focuses on collaborative and interdisciplinary discussions of jazz and improvised music in the arts, academia, and activism.

Before joining the Albright community, Mark taught previously at Swarthmore College (as a Mellon Foundation & Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow), St. John’s University in New York City, and Northeastern University. He earned a B.A. degree (magna cum laude, in music and Latin) at the University of Richmond, an M.A. in jazz history and research at Rutgers University Newark, and a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was awarded both the Livingston and Graduate Dissertation Fellowships for his work in the Canary Islands.