Articles and essays

New Polyphonies: Score Streams, Improvisation and Telepresence.” Leonardo Music Journal, v.20, November/December 2010.

Asian Americans and Creative Music Legacies,” Critical Studies in Improvisation / Etudes Critiques en Improvisation, v. 1 n. 3, March 2006.

Preface to Yusef Lateef’s Songbook, 2005, FANA Publications.

“Improvising in a Different Clave: Steve Coleman and AfroCuba de Matanzas.” In The Other Side of Nowhere: Jazz, Improvisation, and Communities in Dialogue, ed. Ajay Heble and Daniel Fischlin. Wesleyan University Press, 2004.

“Taking Chances: The Musical Craft of Yusef Lateef.” Musicworks magazine, Fall 1998.


Decolonizing Art Music: Scenes from the Late Twentieth-Century United States. Dissertation completed for the PhD in Music with an emphasis in Critical Studies and Experimental Practices, University of California, San Diego, 2003. Committee: George E. Lewis (chair), Anthony Davis, Nancy Guy, George Lipsitz and Bennetta Jules-Rosette. Abstract…

Teaching and academics

Michael Dessen
Department of Music, Claire Trevor School of the Arts
University of California, Irvine
Mailing address:
303 Music and Media Building
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-2775

PhD program in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology” (ICIT)
The ICIT program is led by Christopher Dobrian, Kojiro Umezaki, Lukas Ligeti, Mari Kimura and Michael Dessen, and “embraces diverse forms of music making, challenging conventional distinctions between classical composition, computer music, improvisation, and jazz.”

Course syllabi and more information on Michael Dessen’s work at UCI