Accordionist and Ethnomusicologist Marié Abe joins the Department of Music as Associate Professor

person sitting with an accordion
August 2, 2023

The Division of Arts & Humanities at UC Berkeley is pleased to welcome professor Marié Abe as of July 1, 2023. She is an associate professor in the Department of Music and focuses on the intersection between improvisation and composition.

Originally born in Japan, Abe has since lived in both the Bay Area and Boston as an accordionist and ethnomusicologist with primary research interests in ethnomusicology, politics of space and sounds, Japanese popular performing arts, Afro-futurism of the United States and cultural advocacy. Her accordion style explores a variety of genres, such as experimental; improvisation; Balkan; indie rock; Middle Eastern; Brazilian; tango; Ethiopian; and Mediterranean folk musical styles. In her professional and personal life, she co-produced the NPR radio documentary “Squeezebox Stories” (2011) and was a member of the Boston-based Ethiopian groove collective Debo Band. 

Abe earned her B.A. in sociology, anthropology and ethnomusicology from Swarthmore College before completing her M.A. and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UC Berkeley. Her other teaching experiences include appointments at Harvard University as a postdoctoral fellow and at Boston University as an associate professor of music, musicology and ethnomusicology.