Dr. George L. Starks, Jr., Professor of Music and Director of the Jazz Orchestra at Drexel University, is an ethnomusicologist with a specialty in New World Musics of African origin. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Music from North Carolina A&T State University and the University of Illinois respectively, and a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University of Connecticut.
He has conducted ethnomusicological field research in Barbados, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the South Carolina Sea Islands. His publications are on sacred and secular musics, rural and urban musics, and contemporary and traditional musics. He is associate editor of the International Jazz Archived Journal and served as a contributing editor to the Black Perspective on Music, the premier scholarly journal on African derived musics.
Dr. Starks was a member of Call and Response, a think tank on African American music, and is a faculty member of the Gullah Studies Institute, at historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island, SC.
A critically acclaimed saxophonist, he has performed with musicians ranging from avant-garde trumpeter Cliffored Thornton to vocalist Roy Hamilton to Ghanaian master drummer Kobena Adzenyah to the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra and served as a faculty member of the Gullah Studies Institute.