Dan Kruse is an ethnomusicologist, lecturer, documentary filmmaker, and percussionist, with a background in communications media.
Dan’s first career was in radio broadcasting, working as an on-air announcer, copywriter and production director for a variety of radio stations on the east coast. This was followed nearly two decades in organizational communications, producing film and video for a variety of corporate, financial, educational, healthcare and non-profit clients.
Dan moved to Tucson, Arizona in the fall of 1997. Since January of 2000, Dan has rekindled his lifelong interest in the world of music, embarking on a journey of academic enrichment…musical performance, touring and recording…and the development of documentary works relating to musical culture, history and personalities.
Dan earned the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Arts Studies in 2006, Summa Cum Laude, and completed a Masters in Ethnomusicology from the University of Arizona in December, 2012. He also holds a B.A. in Radio, TV and Film from the University of Missouri, and has completed graduate work in media at Temple University and Kutztown University. His graduate level research into The Role of Film and Video as Tools in the Structural Analysis of Music was presented at a regional musicology/music theory conference.
Dan’s Master’s Thesis in Musicology is “ZOOM!”, a 33-minute documentary film on a tiny independent record label of the late 1950s in Tucson, Arizona. The film was an Official Selection at three prestigious film festivals: the 2013 Arizona International Film Festival (where it was named “Best of Arizona”), the 2013 Tucson Film and Music Festival, and the 2014 Phoenix Film Festival.
Dan has taught courses on the history of rock ‘n’ roll at the UA School of music, and has become a regular lecturer before a variety of groups in the Tucson area, including the Arizona Senior Academy. His stimulating, interactive presentations cover subjects as diverse The Early Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Rhythmic and Social Qualities of West African music, and the Three Central Questions of Ethnomusicology.
In April of 2013, he initiated a study of the cognitive and emotional aspects of music, focusing on “ear worms”, which was carried out on the University of Arizona campus during the 2014-15 academic year, funded by a Faculty Collaboration Grant from the Confluence Center for Creative Inquiry. As part of the project, Dan also created a 13-minute film, “Tracks”, documenting this research. The film and preliminary research outcomes were initially presented at the Annual Conference of the International Society for Quantitative Research in Music and Medicine (ISQRMM), in suburban Philadelphia in July, 2015.
In additional to his musical and scholarly pursuits, Dan served for six years as the local host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” on Tucson’s KUAZ-FM, and also works free-lance as a voice-over narrator. He is a Certified Values Realization Workshop Leader. He has two grown daughters and two grandchildren, and he and his late wife Gina were among the founding members of the Stone Curves Cohousing Community in Tucson, where he lives today.