College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Jessie Vallejo

Jessie Vallejo

Contact Information:

Faculty Office Telephone: (909) 869-4501
Music Department Office: (909) 869-3548
Fax #: (909) 869-4145


  • Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology, University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A. in Ethnomusicology, University of California, Los Angeles
  • B.M. in Music Education, concentrations in Performance and Spanish, Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam



Dr. Jessie M. Vallejo is an Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of Mariachi Ensembles at Cal Poly Pomona’s Music Department. She teaches courses across the curriculum – World of Music, Service Learning Integration, Senior Seminar, Careers in Music, Senior Projects, Creative Projects and Beginning and Intermediate Strings.

Dr. Vallejo’s primary research focuses on a hemispheric approach to Amerindian studies. Her secondary research areas are mariachi music performed outside of Mexico and the United States; and integrating ethnomusicological approaches into K-12 music programs. She has conducted fieldwork in Ecuador, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Spain, the United States, Canada, and the Hotinonshón:ni territories. Jessie has presented her research across California and the United States, as well as in Limerick (Ireland), Guayaquil (Ecuador), Astana (Kazakhstan), St. John’s (Newfoundland, Canada), and Mexico City.

Dr. Vallejo has also worked as an applied ethnomusicologist, co-producing, annotating, and providing photography for Smithsonian Folkways’ 2013 release ¡Así Kotama!: The Flutes of Otavalo, Ecuador.

As a mariachi violinist and vocalist, Jessie has performed with Mariachi Tesoro at the Albuquerque Mariachi Spectacular, sharing the stage with Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán, and Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. Other notable performances have been at Long Beach Mayor Robert García’s inauguration at the Terrace Theater, the Stephenson Memorial Concert Series during College Convention at Berea College (Berea, KY), Mexican baile folklórico events at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater (Hollywood, CA) the Alex Theater (Glendale, CA) and in Cuba at the Casa de Las Américas’ Ché Guevara Hall.

Jessie Vallejo has performed Andean and South American music at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival stages (Washington, DC), and Dances of Peru dance company’s production Once Upon a Time in Peru at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center (Redondo Beach, CA). Jessie was selected to study the Chinese two-string fiddle (erhu) at the Central Conservatory’s two-week intensive program in Beijing, China, and she has performed silk and bamboo music at the Huntington Gardens (Pasadena, CA) and LACMA (Los Angeles) with the UCLA Chinese Music Ensemble. Dr. Vallejo may also be heard singing back-up vocals on the BlueGrassHoppers’ self-titled album. Prior to entering the field of ethnomusicology, Vallejo was a music teacher in New York State public schools.

One of Dr. Vallejo’s hobbies is cooking and learning new recipes from friends she meets while traveling. Some of the recipes she learned while living in Otavalo, Ecuador are featured in The Ethnomusicologists’ Cookbook: Complete Meals from Around the World, volume 2, edited by Sean Williams. 


  • English native language
  • Spanish fluent in reading, writing, and speaking
  • Kichwa advanced level in reading, writing, and speaking
  • Korean basic level in reading, writing, and speaking

Professional Memberships: