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Joe Steinhardt
Joe Steinhardt
Assistant Professor




Joe Steinhardt is the owner of Don Giovanni Records, a label that he co-founded in 2003 with Zach Gajewski. Initially, their intent was to document the independent music scene then emerging from New Brunswick, New Jersey. However, the label’s focus has since broadened to include a geographically diverse community of artists, including Screaming Females, Moor Mother, Mal Blum, Native American Music Award “Best Artist” winner Keith Secola, and Holy Modal Rounders founder, Peter Stampfel. It has also released formative works by nationally recognized groups like Waxahatchee, Priests, and Downtown Boys, as well as the comedian Chris Gethard. 


Don Giovanni Records remains committed to furthering alternative culture and independent values, providing resources for artists who prefer to work outside of the mainstream music industry. 

In 2016, Steinhardt founded and curated the New Alternative Music Festival, a two day concert held at New Jersey’s Asbury Park Convention Hall. NAMF was an intentional event, gathering a bill composed entirely of musicians acting without ties to major labels or corporate distribution. 


Steinhardt studied at Boston University and earned a Ph.D. in communication at Cornell. He currently resides in Philadelphia, where he is an Assistant Professor at Drexel University’s Music Industry Program.


PhD, Communication, Cornell University; B.S., Communication, Boston University

Steinhardt, J., & McClaran, N. (2022). Separating the art from the artist: The role of narratives on music enjoyment and appreciation. Psychology of Music.

Steinhardt, J. (2021). How To Resist Streaming Music & Why. Porland: Microcosm Publishing

Steinhardt, J. (2020). The role of numeric and statistical content on risk perception in infographics about road safety. Journal of Risk Research.

Safi, A.G., Jesch, E., Steinhardt, J., Scolere, L., Skurka, C., Kalaji, A., Niederdeppe, J., Byrne S. (2019). Comparing three methods of involving low-SES and youth population tobacco intervention research. Social Science & Medicine.

Byrne S., Safi, A.G., Kemp, D.G, Skurka, C., Davydova, J., Scolere, L., Mathios, A., Avery, R.J., Dorf, M.C., Steinhardt, J., Niederdeppe, J. (2019) Effects of Varying Color, Imagery and Text of Cigarette Package Warning Labels among Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Middle School Youth and Adult Smokers. Health Communication.

Dixon, G., McComas, K., Besley, J. & Steinhardt, J. (2016). Transparency in the food aisle: The influence of procedural justice on views about labeling GM foods. Journal of Risk Research.

Steinhardt, J., & Shapiro M.A. (2015) Framing Effects in Narrative and Non-narrative contexts. Risk Analysis.

McComas, K., Besley, J., Steinhardt, J.  (2014) Factors influencing U.S. consumer support for genetic modification to prevent crop disease. Appetite.

Longstaff, P., Steinhardt, J. (2011). Listening to Uncertainty in the Music Business: Fat Tails and Resilience. Program Incidental Paper, Harvard Program on Information Resources Policy, January 2011,

Chen, G.M., Chock, T.M., Gozigian, H., Rogers, R., Sen, A., Schweisberger, V.N., Steinhardt, J., & Wang, Y. (2011). Want to reach younger readers? Personalize your news site and foster a sense of group loyalty. Newspaper Research Journal.


Independently released a catalog of 270+ albums through Don Giovanni Records including albums from Screaming Females, Moor Mother, Laura Stevenson, Waxahatchee, Jeffrey Lewis, Lavender Country, Swamp Dogg, Lee Bains + The Glory Fires, Mal Blum, Downtown Boys, Alice Bag, Priests, Sammus, The Ergs!, Chris Gethard, Peter Stampfel, The Holy Modal Rounders, Worriers, P.S. Eliot, Tenement, Aye Nako. Production credits include Downtown Boys.

Don Giovanni Records was a Libera Award nominee for Label Of The Year (Small) in 2022 and 2023.  

In 2016 produced and booked The New Alternative Music Festival at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ.