Sarah Provost

Sarah Provost headshot

Assistant Professor of Music History

Music History

The Hartt School

PhD, Brandeis University

BM, University of Hartford

Sarah Caissie Provost (PhD in Musicology) specializes in American music with a focus on early jazz and its relationships to gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. She teaches courses in American music, European concert music, 20th century music, and research and writing in music. Previously, she was an Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of North Florida, where she directed the Master of Music program.

She has published and presented research on pianist Mary Lou Williams, trumpeters Valaida Snow and Ziggy Elman, clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman, and bandleader Paul Whiteman. Her work on past and current barriers to jazz performance for women and non-gender conforming musicians appears in the 2022 volume The Routledge Companion to Jazz and Gender. Recently, she has expanded her research interests to include ecomusicology; in 2023, she presented at the conference “Music and Climate Change: Artistic Action in Times of Crisis” at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. Her paper, “Scoring Climate Change: Music and Popular Science Communication,” will appear in a forthcoming edited collection. She has also presented work on the role of music in prison reform advocacy. She has received grants from Williams College, Rutgers University, and the University of North Florida in support of her research.

In addition, Dr. Provost has served as the president of the American Musicological Society, Southern Chapter. She has also performed on the flute with the New England Philharmonic and various jazz venues.

Selected Publications
  • Concertized Jazz: The Divergent Motives of Whiteman (1924) and Goodman (1938).” In forthcoming volume Placing Paul Whiteman in American Music. University of Illinois Press, 2024.
  • “Accessing Jazz’s Places and Spaces.” The Routledge Companion to Jazz and Gender, eds. James Reddan, Monika Herzig, and Michael Kahr. New York: Routledge, 2022, pp. 423-435.
  • "Playing for the King: Ziggy Elman, Benny Goodman, and 1930s Klezmer Swing." Jazz and Culture 3.1 (2020): 22-44.
  • "Bringing Something New: Female Jazz Instrumentalists’ Use of Imitation and Masculinity." Jazz Perspectives 10.2-3 (2017): 141-157.
  • “The Dance Hall, Nazi Germany, and Hell: Accruing Meaning Through Filmic Uses of Benny Goodman’s ‘Sing Sing Sing.” Music and the Moving Image Vol. 10, no. 2 (Summer 2017), pp. 33 – 45.