Herbie Hancock Named Harvard Professor of Poetry

7:47 PM PST 01/11/2014 by Kevin Rutherford, Billboard
Kwaku Alston

The jazz musician will give six lectures next month.

This article first appeared on billboard.com.

Herbie Hancock: Grammy winner, jazz icon -- and, soon, Harvard professor.

The pianist and composer is Harvard University's 2014 Norton Professor of Poetry, Rolling Stone reports. He'll deliver six lectures next month as part of the title on a variety of topics -- including one, he says, titled "The Wisdom of Miles Davis."

In an interview with BBC Radio 5, Hancock revealed that much of his talks would "be mainly talking about my own experience and give [the students] some stories." He said another lecture would focus on Buddhism and creativity. Hancock has been a Buddhist for the last four decades.

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"The reason that I was chosen for this position was only partially because of music," Hancock explained in his BBC interview "They also realized that I'm a goodwill ambassador to UNESCO, which is partly to do with cultural diplomacy, which I'm addressing in one of my lectures."

The title, first bestowed in 1925, has previously been awarded to the likes of T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost and more.

Meanwhile, this won't be Hancock's first stint as professor. The 73-year-old taught jazz in the University of California, Los Angeles' music program last year.

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