Herbie Hancock becomes professor at Harvard University

Jazz great will deliver six lectures including one on Miles Davis

Herbie Hancock has been appointed the 2014 Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University.

The 73-year-old jazz great, once part of Miles Davis’ mid-60s quintet, will deliver six lectures on a series of topics, beginning in February. Hancock told BBC Radio 5 live he would “be mainly talking about my own experience” while also giving the students stories from his career.

His series of talks will include The Wisdom of Miles Davis, which he explained will only partly related to Davis’ music. He also said there would be a lecture inspired by his role as a goodwill ambassador to Unesco. “I’ve been a practising Buddhist for 40 years so there’s going to be a lecture on Buddhism and creativity. They were intrigued by the different ways that I presented myself,” he said


Hancock was among the first jazz musicians to introduce funk to the genre, later going on to write music for film and TV. He won an Oscar in 1986 for his score for ”Round Midnight’, and was last month honoured by the Kennedy Centre for his contribution to culture. The honorary post at Harvard was introduced in 1925 and has been held by, among others, writer TS Eliot and composer Leonard Bernstein. Hancock has won, among other prizes, 14 Grammys throughout his career.