Originally a product of the Southern California punk scene, Jason went on to study jazz and composition at The Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford (CT). After school he worked for years as a gigging musician, and was active in the world of hip-hop, performing with the critically-acclaimed group Toca and as a soloist for legendary rapper Slick Rick. He spent 10 years as musical director of the African Dance Ensemble at Irvine Valley College in Irvine, CA, and several summers teaching at the National Guitar Workshop (1999–2006) in New Milford, CT. Since 2005, he has been involved with the Senegal-America Project, a non-profit cultural ambassadorship with an emphasis on the arts, and collaborated with percussionist Massamba Diop, a virtuoso of the tama, a Senegalese talking drum. He comes to Ohio State to continue his research on Senegalese music and culture, with interests in oral history and transmission, drum languages, public culture, Islam, trans-Saharan cultural flows, and vernacular and regional cosmopolitanism and identity. He can usually be found teaching History of Rock 'n' Roll and World Music Cultures courses.