David Font-Navarrete 2024 Mellon Fellow


David Font-Navarrete is a musician, artist, and ethnomusicologist. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Music, Multimedia, Theatre, and Dance at Lehman College at the City University of New York (CUNY). He is a member of the doctoral faculty in Music at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Font has conducted primary research in Cuba, Senegal, the Gambia, and the United States. Recurring themes in his research include: the confluence of Afro-Atlantic cultural traditions, avant-garde art, and ethnography; cultural archives; and multimedia technologies.

Dr. Font’s research publications include articles for the Yale Journal of Music and Religion, Religions, Ethnomusicology Review, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Musicology Now, and contributions to edited volumes.

Dr. Font is also the translator of a groundbreaking annotated English translation of Lydia Cabrera's seminal ethnography El Monte: Notes on the Religions, Magic, and Folklore of the Black and Creole People of Cuba (2023, Duke University Press).

His current projects include: an annotated archival edition of Música de los cultos africanos en Cuba (The Cabrera-Tarafa Collection of Afro-Cuban Sacred Music, ca. 1956); a translation of Rosa Marquetti’s Celia Cruz in Cuba (1925-1962) for Duke University Press; and an edited volume titled The Music in Lydia Cabrera’s El Monte (1954) and The Sacred Lagoon (1973). He is at work on Art at the Edge of Tradition: Notes on Orisha, Music, and the Age of Multimedia, his monograph for the Underground Culture series published by Indiana University Press.