BA and BM, Oberlin College; MA, University of California at Berkeley; PhD, University of Michigan.
Jeffrey Magee teaches courses and writes about music in the United States in the belief that all students should become more aware of the diverse musical idioms and values of the country where they've chosen to live and study. His research has explored jazz, popular song, and musical theater. He is the author of The Uncrowned King of Swing: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz (Oxford, 2005), which won the Irving Lowens Award for Best Book in American Music from the Society for American Music, as well as an award for excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. His second book, Irving Berlin's American Musical Theater (Oxford, 2012), was supported as a We the People Project of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and was runner-up for the Lowens Award. His book-in-progress Gypsy and the American Dream is under contract for publication in Oxford University Press's Broadway Legacies Series and will include interview excerpts with Stephen Sondheim and others involved in Gypsy's original production.
Professor Magee has published articles in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, American Music, Black Music Research Journal, Current Musicology, Studies in Musical Theatre, and Musical Quarterly, and a chapter, "Ragtime and Early Jazz," in The Cambridge History of American Music. The inaugural issue of Jazz Perspectives (2007) featured his "Kinds of Blue: Miles Davis, Afro-Modernism, and Blues" as the lead article. His article "Miranda's Les Miz" appeared in a recent special issue of Studies in Musical Theatre (2018) devoted to the musical Hamilton. He has given public lectures at the Library of Congress, 92Y, Harvard University, and many other colleges and universities. His voice may be heard on the documentary series Leonard Bernstein: An American Life, narrated by Susan Sarandon and widely aired on public radio, and he has been interviewed by The New York Times and Al Jazeera America. He has served on review panels for the NEH, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
Before joining the Illinois faculty, he taught at Indiana University (1997-2006), and served as executive editor of the NEH-funded score series Music of the United States of America at the University of Michigan (1993-97). He has been editorial board member of the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of Musicology, Jazz Perspectives, and the Center for Black Music Research, and was founding editor of the book series Profiles in Popular Music for Indiana University Press. He served as director-at-large on the Board of the American Musicological Society 2014-16.
As an administrator, Professor Magee served as the Director of the School of Music from 2012 to 2019. In that role, he moderated and presented at panels of the College Music Society, the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the National Association of Schools of Music. In fall 2019, he was appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Media.