Dr. Bill Banfield has written works that have been commissioned by several leading orchestras, recorded by prominent labels, and performed by the likes of Bobby McFerrin, Nnenna Freelon, and many others.
Bill Banfield’s remarkable career of arts leadership, scholarship, and musical innovation spans a wide array of roles—from Founding Director of the Center for Africana Studies at Berklee College of Music, to Research Associate for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage—and from national public radio show host with the Tavis Smiley Show to three-time Pulitzer Prize judge in American music. He is also an award-winning composer and conducts with acclaimed eclectic chamber ensemble Imagine Orchestra. As an author, he has penned six books on the intersection of music, cultural criticism and Blackness. “Bill Banfield is one of the most original voices on the scene today…His musings help us make sense of…change across generations, from jazz to hip-hop, the Harlem Renaissance to Cuba. They remind us that we each play a part, as makers, producers, listeners, or consumers, in the symphony of expression marking the beats of our journey here on earth.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.