Colter Harper

Colter Harper 1.

Colter Harper

Colter Harper


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.


  • PhD, Music (ethnomusicology), University of Pittsburgh
  • BA, Duquesne University

Selected Publications

  • “Performing Value: The Proverb as Analytical Framework in West African Music,” African Performance Review (2021)
  • “Bridging Art and Traditional Music at the University of Ghana: Intellectual Legacies of JH Kwabena Nketia and Akin Euba,” Co-authored with N Laryea Akwetteh, South African Music Studies (2019)
  • “Renewing Cultural Resources and Sustaining J.H. Kwabena Nketia's Vision for an African Music Archive in Ghana,” Co-authored with Judith Opoku-Boateng, International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) Journal (2019)
  • “Highlife,” The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture (2019)
  • “The Paradox of Progress: Jazz, Resistance, and Black Musical Labor in Pittsburgh (1955–1974),” Jazz Perspectives (2018)