Ethnomusicologist and percussionist Nolan Warden is a Lecturer at UCLA and Purdue University, and he is co-founder and co-director of Nuestra Escuelita, a Spanish school for heritage speakers of Spanish. He has also taught at California State University Dominguez Hills, Loyola Marymount University, and Malcolm X College. His doctoral dissertation in ethnomusicology at UCLA focused on Indigenous Wixárika (Huichol) music, especially economic factors in cultural change, Wixárika musicians performing popular Mexican music, and the inadvertent role of ethnography in the commodification of ethnic identity.
Nolan's MA degree is from Tufts University where he wrote a thesis on Afro-Cuban cajón pa' los muertos rituals, revealing the role of musicians in transculturation and the emergence of new ritual practices. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music with a double major in Hand Percussion Performance and Music Business. Before Berklee, Nolan studied orchestral percussion and ethnomusicology at Indiana University School of Music.
Nolan has published in African Music, Ethnomusicology Review, El Oído Pensante, Latin Percussionist, Notes, Percussive Notes, and World Percussion & Rhythm. He has also served as Editor-in-Chief of Ethnomusicology Review.
Nolan's performance specializations include Afro-Cuban, jazz, orchestral, Zimbabwean, Ghanaian, afro-pop, and rock music. He has performed internationally in La Pasión Según San Marcos by Osvaldo Golijov, with performances in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Teatro Colón, among other famous venues. He currently performs with the group Clave Caribe.