Bill Banfield

Director, Africana Studies; Professor, Liberal Arts

Bill Banfield is the director of Africana Studies and a professor in the Liberal Arts Department at Berklee. A composer, jazz guitarist, and recording artist, Banfield has written works that have been commissioned by several leading orchestras, recorded by prominent labels, and performed by luminaries such as Bobby McFerrin, Delfeayo Marsalis, Regina Carter, Billy Childs, and Nneena Freelon, among others. Banfield served as a W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow at Harvard in 2002 and was invited by Toni Morrison to serve as a visiting Princeton Atelier artist in 2003. Banfield has also hosted several National Public Radio/Minnesota Public Radio shows, including his own show, Essays of Note, and his work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, among many others.

He is the author of several books, including Cultural Codes: Makings of a Black Music Philosophy, Black Notes: Essays of a Musician Writing in a Post-Album Age, and Landscapes In Color: Conversations with Black American Composers. Banfield received his undergraduate degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, a master's in theology from Boston University, and his D.M.A. in composition from the University of Michigan.