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William Banfield

Male | Composers


William (Bill) C. Banfield currently serves as Professor, Africana Studies/Music and Society at Berklee College of Music.  A native Detroit, Banfield received his Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservator of Music/Jazz Studies, a Masters in Theological Studies from Boston University and Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Michigan. Prior to coming to Berklee, Dr. Banfield held the endowed chair in Humanities and Fine Arts, Professor of Music, director of American Cultural Studies and chair of Jazz, American Popular, World Music Studies, at the University of St. Thomas, MN. From 1992-1997, he served as Assistant professor, African American Studies/Music, Indiana University.  A composer, jazz recording artist, Banfield's works have been commissioned, performed and recorded by orchestras including; the National, Atlanta, Dallas,Akron,Toledo, Detroit, New York Virtuoso, Grand Rapids, Akron, Roanoke, Richmond,Savannah, Rapides, Indianapolis, Sacramento and San Diego symphonies. Recordings of his works are carried on Atlantic, TelArc, Collins Classics (London), Centaur, Albany and Innova records.  His larger concert and jazz works have been performed by Jon Faddis, Billy Childs, Bobby Mcferrin, Nelson Rangell, Ron Carter, Regina Carter, Mark Ledford, Patrice Rushen, Bill Brown, Nneena Freelon and others.  Banfield in 2002 served as  a WEB Dubois fellow at Harvard and following was invited by author Toni Morrison to serve as visiting Professor/ Atelier Artist in residence, Princeton University. Dr. Banfield's two books explore the critical relationships between artistry, society and education in concert and popular music. Landscapes in Color: Conversations With Black American Composers(Scarecrow Press, 2003),  and Black Notes: Essays of A Musician Writing In a Post Album Age, have both been reviewed highly.  Banfield was recently writer and host of two National Public Radio  (NPR/MPR) music radio shows.   In 2005 he joined Scarecrow Press as its contributing editor of  African American Cultural Studies and he writes for Downbeat magazine.






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