Kevin O'Brien

  • Graduate Student, Musicology

I am a PhD candidate in Musicology specializing in Humor, Improvisation, and American Popular Music. I received my BA from James Madison University and my MM from the University of Tennessee, where I completed my master's thesis on comic song performance in the 19th- and early 20th-century American parlor. In 2013 I received a Dietrich School of Arts and Science's Research Fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh. I have presented papers on vaudeville, Jamaican hip-hop, troubadours, gender, and methodological issues at numerous historical, ethnomusicological, and medievalist conferences. My current research intersects with my performance career in musical improvisation and comedy song writing. I regularly perform at various Pittsburgh theaters and national comedy festivals, as well as teach and direct musical comedy groups.

Subdisciplines