Musician’s Corner Feature – Brandi Waller-Pace
Brandi Waller-Pace is a Fort Worth-based artist, educator, and scholar. A former general music educator, she is the Founder and Executive Director of Decolonizing the Music Room, a nonprofit with a mission of centering Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian voices and experiences in music education and related fields through training, educational content, and community programming. Brandi is a graduate of Howard University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Jazz Studies. She is currently pursuing a Phd in Music Education at the University of North Texas.
After years of performing primarily jazz, neo-soul, and genre-crossing originals, Brandi found the banjo and American roots music, opening a deep connection to traditions of her ancestors. Some of Brandi’s notable performances have been at ArtsGoggle, the City of Fort Worth’s Juneteenth Celebration, the Affrolachian On-Time Gathering, The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Fort Worth Django Reinhardt Festival.
Brandi is the creator and organizer of the Fort Worth African American Roots Music Festival, created to highlight blackness in American roots music. She has co-produced, curated artist lineups for, and performed in events with Bluegrass Pride, The Bluegrass Situation, and PineCone. She also sits on the board of directors of Folk Alliance International.
Brandi also works as consultant, presenter, and speaker nationally and internationally on topics including decolonizing, blues, jazz and the centrality of Blackness in American roots music, culturally relevant practices, organizational equity practices, and curriculum development. Her research and scholarship focuses on antiracism, decolonization, Black feminist thought, Afrofuturism, and Sankofa. Her writing can be found in the New York Times, The Bluegrass Situation, The Orff Echo, The Illinois Music Educator Journal, Music Education Journal, the upcoming The Oxford Handbook of Care in Music Education, and on Decolonizing the Music Room’s website.
Founder, Executive Director
Decolonizing the Music Room
Fort Worth African American Roots Music Festival