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Full Professor

David Borgo

University of California San Diego

David Borgo is a saxophonist, ethnomusicologist (Ph.D., UCLA 1999), Professor and Chairman of the Department of Music at UC San Diego. He has published widely on the social, cultural, historical and cognitive dimensions of music-making, including a book titled Sync or Swarm: Improvising Music in a Complex Age, which won the Alan P. Merriam Prize in 2006 from the Society for Ethnomusicology as the most distinguished English-language book published during the previous year.

David’s scholarly work also appears in Jazz Perspectives, Black Music Research Journal, Journal of Popular Music Studies, American Music, Journal of American History, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Parallax, Open Space, The Oxford Handbook on Critical Improvisation Studies, and in several edited book volumes. He has given invited talks and/or performances at STEIM (the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music in Amsterdam), SARC (the Sonic Arts Research Center at Queens University Belfast), The University of Göteborg, The University of São Paulo, Escuela National de Musica-UNAM in Mexico City, The University of Chicago, The University of Minnesota, The Herb Alpert School of Music (UCLA), NWEAMO (the Northwest Electro-Acoustic Music Organization), UCHRI’s “State of the Arts” Festival, The Bronowski Art and Science Forum, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

As a saxophonist, David has performed with many jazz luminaries, including Herbie Hancock, Billy Higgins, Kenny Burrell, David Liebman, Gerald Wilson, Harold Land, David Baker, Snooky Young, George Lewis, Evan Parker, Sam Rivers, John Tchicai, Anthony Davis, and Mark Dresser. With his own ensembles he has toured in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Over the years David has released ten albums of original music, and he currently performs electro-acoustic improvisation with his duo KaiBorg ( and intricate polyrhythmic music with his sextet Kronomorfic (