Newly-inaugurated Improvisation Section of Society for Ethnomusicology

As the “Organizational Liaison” for the newly-inaugurated Improvisation Section of SEM, I am happy to announce that we have firmed up our plans for this year’s SEM meeting in Austin. I’d like to 1) inform you about our event schedule so that you may forward it to the Rhythm Changes list, and 2) to see if there is any way in particular you’d like to get involved with us this year. Whether or not you plan on attending SEM, I hope this information will be of interest to you and the rest of the Rhythm Changes group.

Here is what we have in store:

Thursday, December 3: Jam Session. Our Local Scene Liaison, Dave Wilson, has been working with some local Austin musicians to set up a jam session. It will take place starting at 8pm at the Museum of Human Achievement (MoHA), located a short car or bus ride from the city center. We will plan to meet in the lobby of the SEM conference hotel, the Hilton Austin (500 East Fourth St) at about 7:15, and travel in small groups by Uber or bus, depending on preferences. If you are interested in participating, please send a note to Dave ( indicating the instrument(s) you plan to bring, as well as whether there are any particular configurations you’d like to play in. This will allow Dave to arrange with local musicians for any necessary equipment and other considerations. The MoHA requests that its address not be made public, so if you do plan on attending, please contact me or Dave for that information, or just meet us in the hotel lobby.

Friday, December 4: Improvisation Section Meeting. 7-9pm, Room 414, Hilton Austin. We will devote the first half of the meeting to section business, while the second half will include very brief Year-in-Review talks by members as well as a roundtable discussion (specific themes and speakers TBD). We will also discuss future plans for coordinating with other regional/national organizations, with an eye towards the 2016 SEM meeting in Washington, DC.

Finally, we will soon be distributing a list of improvisation-related events at SEM to our email list, and will be posting that to our website as well. We also continue to solicit contributions to our shared Zotero bibliography on improvisation (

If you or any Rhythm Changes members are not on our email list and would like to be added, please contact our Co-Chair and Communications Officer, Mark Laver (, and/or visit our website,

Hope to see some of you in Austin!

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