Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock delivers the first of six lectures as part of the Norton Professor of Poetry series hosted by Mahindra Center for the Humanities. (Jon Chase/Harvard staff photographer)
Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock delivers the first of six lectures as part of the Norton Professor of Poetry series hosted by Mahindra Center for the Humanities. (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 Miles 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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