About John-Carlos Perea




Associate Professor


American Indian StudiesCollege of Ethnic Studies


Ethnic Studies and Psychology Building (EP)


Office Hours (Additional Info): 

On Leave for 2021-2022 academic year



At SF State Since:



John-Carlos Perea is an ethnomusicologist and associate professor of American Indian Studies in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. His research interests include jazz and improvised music performance and composition, urban American Indian lived experiences and cultural productions, music technologies, recording and archiving practices, social constructions of "noise," Native and African American jazz cultures, and the Creek and Kaw saxophonist Jim Pepper. Perea is the author of Intertribal Native American Music in the United States (2014, Oxford University Press). His most recent publication is “Native ‘Noise’ and the Politics of Powwow Musicking in a University Soundscape” in Music and Modernity Among First Peoples of North America (2019, Wesleyan University Press).
In addition to his scholarly activities, Perea maintains an active career as a GRAMMY® Award winning multi-instrumentalist and recording artist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has recorded on eighteen albums as a sideman and two as a leader, First Dance(2001) and Creation Story (2014). His most recent creative work is Improvising Home (2017), a multi-movement work for Native American flute and large ensemble funded by grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at San Francisco State University.


In April 2019, Perea was recognized by the San Francisco Arts Commission’s American Indian Initiative for his musical contribution “to reclaim space, to challenge false narratives, and to reimagine public art from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples.”


Photo © 2019 by Jean Melesaine