Mark Katz, Next Level’s Founding Director, is the Ruel W. Tyson, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His scholarship focuses on music and technology, contemporary popular music, musical diplomacy, and the violin.
His work in promoting the arts and music education in underserved communities has been recognized through awards from the Freedoms Foundation, the Hip-Hop Education Center, and Indy Weekly. In 2016, Katz was awarded Royal Musical Association’s Dent Medal, which credited him with taking “musicology and hip-hop studies in bold new directions, creating a model of exemplary and ethical scholarship that internationalizes the discipline in productive ways.” In 2017, Katz was awarded UNC’s University Diversity Award for Faculty, recognizing his significant contributions to the enhancement, support and furtherance of diversity and inclusion on campus and in the community.
When he has time, Mark Katz is a violinist, an amateur turntablist, and a DJ at UNC’s radio station, WXYC 89.3 FM.