Andrew Dewar

Andrew Dewar

Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts


  • BA, Anthropology, Music, and Asian Studies, University of Minnesota
  • MA, Music Composition and Ethnomusicology, Wesleyan University
  • PhD, Music Composition and Ethnomusicology, Wesleyan University


Andrew Raffo Dewar is a composer, soprano saxophonist, electroacoustic musician, ethnomusicologist, and arts organizer. He is Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts in New College and the School of Music at The University of Alabama.

He holds an interdisciplinary BA in Anthropology, Music and Asian Studies from the University of Minnesota, and an MA and Ph.D. in music composition and ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University.

Dr. Dewar’s research interests include experimentalism in the arts, jazz and improvisation, music technologies, intercultural music, and 1960s intermedia arts.

His scholarly writing has been published in the Journal of the Society for American Music, Leonardo Music Journal, Jazz Perspectives, Jazz Research Journal, the New Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd Edition), and Musicians and Composers of the 20th Century. He has also published book chapters in Negotiated Moments: Improvisation, Representation and Subjectivity (Duke University Press, 2016), and Experimentalisms in Practice: Music Perspectives from Latin America (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Dewar has presented talks on his research and music at the annual meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Society for American Music, the American Musicological Society, a number of international conferences, and has been an invited speaker at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, University of California San Diego, Duke University, The University of Georgia, Bowling Green State University, California Institute of the Arts, Rutgers University, the University of Victoria and Quest University in Canada, Greece’s Aristotle University, the Institute for Music and Media at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Germany, and others.

In addition to his work as an ethnomusicologist, Dr. Dewar is a soprano saxophonist and composer who regularly performs internationally. He studied with experimental jazz legends Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton, and Bill Dixon, and experimental music composer Alvin Lucier. He has also had a long involvement with Indonesian music. Dewar has performed, or had his music performed or installed at the Venice Biennale di Musica, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Roulette, and The Stone in New York City, the Smithsonian Institution and Katzen Art Center in Washington D.C., the New Orleans Contemporary Art Center, the Dusseldorf Kunsthalle, and many other national and international venues and festivals.

Recordings of Dewar’s work is available on nearly two dozen albums published by record labels from throughout the United States and Europe. He also performs on five albums by MacArthur fellow and NEA Jazz Master Anthony Braxton, and on one album by The Bill Dixon Orchestra.

Dr. Dewar has received grants and awards to support his work from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, NewMusicUSA, ASCAP, the Getty Foundation, Arts International, Meet The Composer, The San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.