Dan DiPiero

Dan DiPiero

Dan DiPiero



Areas of Expertise

  • Music
  • Comparative and Cultural Studies
  • Improvisation Studies


  • PhD (Comparative Studies), The Ohio State University
  • MA (Aesthetics and Politics), California Institute of the Arts
  • MFA (Jazz Studies), California Institute of the Arts
  • BM (Jazz Studies), Capital University

Dan's primary research areas include music in the U.S. (popular, jazz, experimental), cultural studies, and improvisation, with a particular focus on the affective connections between aesthetics and politics. He has taught courses in music history, popular culture, and the humanities, in addition to private percussion lessons, improvising ensembles, and workshops.

Dan's first monograph, Contingent Encounters: Improvisation in Music and Everyday Life, is an interdisciplinary exploration of improvisation as it appears across contexts. Through a series of nested comparisons, it aims to explicate a more nuanced understanding of what improvisation is, how it appears, and what it helps us to think about, socially, musically, and politically. 

His writing has appeared in Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisationthe collection Rancière and Music (Edinburgh University Press), the Los Angeles Review of Books, Sounding Out!, the Cleveland Review of Books, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, boundary 2 online, and more. He is co-chair of the Music and Sound Studies Working Group at the Cultural Studies Association, the host of the Public Cultural Studies podcast, and an active musician in the Columbus area.