Herbie Hancock’s tenure at Harvard begins

Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer


Jazz great Herbie Hancock delivered the first of several lectures he’ll give at Harvard as a professor of poetry, and it had little to do with poetry. The 73-year-old pianist instead gave a talk at Sanders Theatre titled “The Wisdom of Miles Davis .” That’s the beauty of the Charles Eliot Norton Professorship in Poetry at Harvard: The term “poetry” is interpreted very broadly and includes all poetic expression in language, music, or fine arts. Some previous holders of the office include T.S. Eliot , Igor Stravinsky , Paul Hindemith , Leonard Bernstein , Frank Stella , and John Cage . Hancock, a 15-time Grammy winner who’s played with everyone from Davis and Wes Montgomery to Joni Mitchell and Carlos Santana , will lecture five more times between now and the end of March. Best of all, the lectures are open to the public.

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