Kyle DeCoste (he/him) is a scholar of popular music from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. He is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Music at Tulane University. His work, which is often collaborative and (auto)ethnographic, examines how sound—and popular music in particular—is used to articulate and contest ideas about race, gender, class, and childhood. He received his PhD in Music from Columbia University where his dissertation explored the poetics of childhood in contemporary Black American popular music to make a case for an imaginative twenty-first-century abolitionism.
He is the co-author with the Stooges Brass Band of Can’t Be Faded: Twenty Years in the New Orleans Brass Band Game, a twenty-year retrospective of New Orleans’ brass band scene, for which he received the 2021 Zora Neale Hurston Prize from the American Folklore Society. His writing has been published in The Journal of Popular Music Studies, Ethnomusicology, and the Journal of the Society for American Music.
In addition to his dissertation, Kyle is working on two other book projects. The first which he is co-authoring with Alex Blue V, is an ethnography of country rap (a.k.a. “hick-hop”) that examines issues of race and place in the Southern United States. The second is a history of New Orleans’ only all-woman brass band, the Original Pinettes Brass Band, which applies a Black feminist lens to brass band performance.