Director of Zimbabwean Mbira Ensemble
Tony Perman (ethnomusicology) is a specialist in the music of Zimbabwe and the semiotics of music and emotion. He has received degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (PhD), the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (MMus), and Kenyon College (BA). Before coming to Grinnell, Dr. Perman previously taught at Bowdoin College and Pomona College. His book Signs of the Spirit: Music and the Experience of Meaning in Ndau Ceremonial Life was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2020. He has written previously about mbira music, aesthetics, religious experience, and popular music in Zimbabwe in Ethnomusicology, Ethnomusicology Forum, The Journal of Musicological Research, The Journal of Religion in Africa, African Music, African Studies Review, and other edited volumes. He has played and taught the mbira dzavadzimu and mbira dzaVaNdau for many years, having been taught primarily by Chartwell Dutiro, Tute Chigamba, Musekiwa Chingodza, Davison Masiza, Zombiyi Muzite, and Zivanai Khumbula. He is also a student of the Chinese guqin.