Kip Lornell

Kip Lornell

Adjunct Professor of Music
Phillips Hall B-142
Phone: 202-994-6249

Areas of Expertise


Since 1992 Professor Lornell has taught courses in American Music & Ethnomusicology at the George Washington University and serves on the GW Africana Studies program committee. His research in American vernacular music has resulted in the publication of 33 articles in music journals, nine chapters in books, 29 encyclopedia entries, 16 record notes, 31 record or book reviews in journals,  27 record projects,  two documentary films, and 26 hour-long radio documentaries. Lornell has also published 14 books, including  textbooks, ethnographic studies, and reference books;  most recently in collaboration with Bruce Bastin, The Melody Man: Joe Davis and the New York Music Scene, 1916-1978 (University Press of Mississippi 2012). Since 1972 his  research has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropology, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others. 

From 1988–1990 Lornell was a post-doctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, working with Anthony Seeger at Smithsonian/Folkways recordings. He was recognized among the "Outstanding Young Alumni" in 1989 by the University of Memphis. Other awards include the 1993 ASCAP-Deems Taylor award for The Life and Legend of Leadbelly (co-authored with Charles Wolfe), a 1997 Grammy for co-authoring the program notes for the "Anthology of American Folk Music" (Smithsonian/Folkways). For five years he served as a judge for ARSC book awards (2007-2011), Grammy Crafts Committee for "Liner Notes" and Historical Reissues" (2000-2013) and in 2012 he was named to the NARAS Blue Ribbon Panel for our Lifetime Achievement and Trustee Awards. In addition to professing at GWU since 1992, he has held visiting positions at the University of Virginia, the College of William & Mary, and the Johns Hopkins University (Peabody Conservatory) and currently conducts intellectual property research for Smithsonian Folkways. 


Bachelor of Science in Cultural Sciences, State University of New York Empire State College, 1975
Master of Arts in Folklore, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1976
Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology (Regional American Music), University of Memphis, 1983