Jason King is Associate Professor of The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, an innovative leadership training program for aspiring music entrepreneurs at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. The founding faculty member, he worked alongside music impresario Clive Davis to help build and develop the program. He served as the program's first Interim Chair (2002), Associate Chair (2002-2005), and Artistic Director (2006-2012). Jason has been teaching classes on popular music history, the music business (marketing/branding) and the social aspects of music technology for more than ten years at New York University. Among the courses he teaches: "Branding," "The Record Producer as Creative Artist," "Music Recommendation and Discovery," "Freddie Mercury," "R&B" and "Hip Hop History Music and Culture." In his unique position at the nexus of all things pop music and pop culture at NYU in the 2000s, he has been instrumental in the development and launching of numerous recording artist, music and tech executive and scholarly careers.
A musician, DJ, scholar, producer, curator and writer, Jason has brought numerous guests to NYU, from De La Soul to Alicia Keys to Raul Midon to JIll Sobule to Russell Simmons to Swizz Beats. Among the events he has produced: the EMP Pop Conference in March 2012 with Esperanza Spalding, ?uestlove, GZA/The Genius and Santigold; a two-day "The Making of Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions" with Chuck D and Hank Shocklee; "Sylvester: The Life and Work of a Musical Icon" (produced with Carolyn Dinshaw) with Martha Wash and Kevin Aviance; "The Making of Afrika Bambaataa and SoulSonic Force's Planet Rock" with Arthur Baker and Fab 5 Freddy; Motown's 50 anniversary series with Leon Ware and Raphael Saadiq. Under his guidance and direction, Jason has recruited a stellar faculty for the program's music history, criticism & journalism component; he's overseen the development of innovative academic courses like "The Island Records Story" (taught by Vivien Goldman); "Stevie Wonder," "Classic Albums" with ?uestlove and Harry Weinger;" "Paul Simon's Graceland" (Ashley Kahn); "Apple" (Eliot Van Buskirk); and "Def Jam" (Bill Adler).
Jason has been a music critic for magazines like Vibe (2001-2008), The Village Voice (2003-2006), Blender, The Los Angeles Times, and The Root; a playwright and director in theater (Crossroads Theater Company, New Perspectives, etc.); as well as a record producer, and manager/strategist for major label and indie artists (Jimmy Edgar, The Craig Lewis Band, Asha Puthli, etc.) He also consults for record labels, branding and marketing firms, and music technology start-ups; and has served as a live event producer, marketing and branding consultant, and music supervisor. His pioneering approach to teaching hip-hop and pop music in the classroom has been profiled on MTV, BET, NPR, AOL; and he has been invited to give lectures on popular music and culture at universities like Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, The Juilliard School and MIT. Recent interviews have included Nick Jonas for Social Media Week NY, and Harry Belafonte for Apple's Meet the Musician Series.
Jason is the author of The Michael Jackson Treasures, a 2009 Barnes and Noble exclusive biography on the King of Pop, which has been translated in more than 7 languages, and a book called Blue Magic, on the role of metaphysics and energy in the music of artists like Timbaland, forthcoming from Duke University Press. He has published numerous essays on pop culture, and his blog entry "Michael Jackson: An Appreciation of His Talent" appears in the Da Capo Press Best Music Writing 2010 compilation, edited by Ann Powers.
In 2010, he was invited to teach the inaugural class at the just-launched NYU Abu Dhabi campus in the United Arab Emirates; he taught there again in 2012, and will return as Affiliated Faculty teaching classes on music production and composition in 2013. In 2010 Jason also taught a 7 week post-graduate masterclass on "Producing and Selling Music in the Global Marketplace" for the then brand new MFA program in International Media Producing at Tisch School of the Arts Asia in Singapore.
Jason wrote the liner notes for a Luther Vandross compilation for Sony Music, and for the vinyl exclusive reissue of D'Angelo's Voodoo for Light in the Attic/Sony. He appears as a talking head and cultural critic in many music documentaries, including Glamourpuss, the 2010 Lady Gaga doc, upcoming documentaries on Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown, and Spike Lee's acclaimed Michael Jackson documentary Bad 25.
Jason holds a Ph.D from NYU and currently divides his time between the U.S. and the Middle East.