Educator, Musician, and Interdisciplinary Artist
Assistant Director, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, Tulane University
Visiting Scholar 2023-2024
Professor Christine Ortiz, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Denise Frazier is an educator, musician, and interdisciplinary artist from Houston, who has lived and worked in New Orleans since 2002. She is the assistant director of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University, a place-based research Center that grants fellowships and organizes public programming, immersive experiences, and collective contemplation about the bio-region stretching from Texas to Florida and its connections with other regions around the world.
Her research interests currently include the Gulf South and the Anthropocene, sound studies and the political, social, digital, natural, and built environments of the Gulf South and Circum-Caribbean. She is also the manager, co-founder and violinist/vocalist/percussionist of Les Cenelles, a string and technological interfacing ensemble that performs African Diasporic music through a prismatic lens that honors African and Indigenous ancestors and chronicles ecological realities. As a company member of Goat in the Road Productions, Frazier has used her skills as an actor and as a musical composer in immersive performances and collaborations that tell lesser-known stories surrounding sexuality, politics, liberation, and colonialism.
Frazier has participated in several boards that have supported the cultural and social ecosystem of New Orleans culture bearers. She has worked with the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans, Antenna Gallery, Make Music NOLA, Goat in the Road Productions, and, more recently, the NOUS Foundation and No Dream Deferred. She has also worked with College Track New Orleans, a national college completion and access program where she advised students attending Xavier University of Louisiana, Delgado Community College, Tulane University, and Southern University of New Orleans (2010-2014). She has taught a wide variety of courses at Tulane University (Geography of the Gulf South, AfroLatinx Studies, Spanish Language), Southern University of New Orleans (Spanish Language), and Xavier University of Louisiana (Medieval Spanish Literature, Spanish Language classes, Introduction to African American Studies). Frazier is tri-lingual in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and is currently studying Kouri Vini. She completed an M.A. (2004) and PhD (2009) in the Latin American Studies Department at Tulane University, studying the political and social dimensions of hip-hop music and performance in early 21st-century Cuba and Brazil. She is the proud parent of one son.