Colter Harper


Colter Harper, headshot.

Colter Harper


Colter Harper


Research Field


Contact Information

374 Academic Center

Buffalo NY, 14261-0026

Phone: (716) 645-0403


  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh; Music (ethnomusicology)


Colter Harper is a guitarist and ethnomusicologist from the North Country of New York. In 2011, Colter completed a PhD in Music at the University of Pittsburgh, where his research focused on the city's vibrant jazz history. Colter has performed extensively including touring as a guitarist, percussionist, and vocalist with the multi-platinum selling, world music influenced rock band Rusted Root. In 2020, Colter completed a Fulbright Scholar position in the University of Ghana’s Department of Music where his work bridged music production, audio archiving, and modern musical practice in Accra.

Selected Publications

  • 2020 [Forthcoming, co-authored with Laryea Akwetteh] “Locating Traditional Music: African Art Music as a Research Paradigm in the University of Ghana,” South African Music Studies (SAMUS). 
  • 2020 [Forthcoming] “Performing Value: The Proverb as Analytical Framework in West African Music,” African Performance Review
  • 2019 Co-authored with Judith Opoku-Boateng. “Renewing Cultural Resources and Sustaining J.H. Kwabena Nketia's Vision for an African Music Archive in Ghana,” International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) Journal, no. 50.
  • 2019 “Highlife,” The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture, Edited by Janet Sturman. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc. 
  • 2018 “The Paradox of Progress: Jazz, Resistance, and Black Musical Labor in Pittsburgh (1955–1974),” Jazz Perspectives (Fall, 2018).