William(Bill) C. Banfield currently serves as professor of Africana Studies/ Music and Society, director of Africana Studies programs, Berklee College of Music. Prior he as served as the Endowed Chair Humanities, Fine Arts, professor of Music, director of American Cultural Studies/Jazz, Popular, World Music Studies, University of St. Thomas, MN(1997-2005). A native Detroiter, he received his Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, a Master of Theological Studies from Boston University and a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Michigan.
Banfield’s works have been commissioned, performed and recorded by orchestras including; the National, Atlanta, Dallas, Akron, Detroit, New York Virtuoso, Grand Rapids, Akron, Richmond, Toledo, Savannah, Indianapolis, Sacramento and San Diego symphonies. His works as composer and performing jazz artist are carried on Atlantic, TelArc, Collins Classics (London), Centaur,Albany/Visionary recordings and Innova records. Banfield served as Assistant professor, African American Studies /Music, Indiana University(1992-1997) where he developed the Undine Smith Moore Collection of Scores and Manuscripts of Black Composers a permanent archives collection at the university and the Extensions concerts featuring the works of Black composers an annual recital still running.
Banfield in 2002 served as a W.E.B. Dubois fellow at Harvard and was invited by Toni Morrison to serve as visiting Atelier Artist 2003. In 2005 he served as visiting Professor of Composition, University of Minnesota. In addition he has lectured and been in residence at; Duke, Fisk, Morehouse, Spellman, Carnegie Mellon, University of Virginia Tech, Augsberg, U of Texas, Michigan, Maryland, Minnesota, Atlanta U, Bowling Green State, St. Augustine, North Central State, Augusta Gustavia, U North Carolina, U Penn, Butler, Hunter, Berklee, U Richmond, U of Connecticut, Massachusetts (Amherst), Harvard, Princeton, U Southern Alabama, Louisiana College, Louisiana State University at Alexandria, Bishop State College. His music has been performed and/or recorded by; Bobby Mcferrin, Patrice Rushen, Don Byron, Leon Bates, Najee, Ron Carter, Delfeayo Marsalis, Oliver Lake, Regina Carter, Rachel Z, Jon Fadis, Marcus Belgrave, Billy Childs, Nneena Freelon, Alphoso Johnson, Ndugu Chancelor, and Nelson Rangel. Former student of composing giants T.J Anderson, George Russell, Theodore Antoniou, Bill Bolcolm, and Bill Albright.
His awards include recognition and grants from: National Endowment For The Humanities, National Endowment For The Arts, Jerome, Lily, Lila Wallace, McKnight, Unisys, Telluride Foundations. He has served panels of ASO(American Symphony Orchestra league), AGO(American Guild of Organists), Opera America, Motown Museum, NEA.He is author of Landscapes in Color: Conversations With Black American Composers(2002), Black Notes: Essays Of A Musician Writing In A Post Album Age(2004). Banfield has hosted several NPR/MPR shows including his own show, Essays Of Note. Currently he is the chair of Black Music Culture for the Association of American Culture and the Popular Culture Association of America conferences. He serves as executive director of Videmus/ Visionary records, and recently joined Scarecrow Press as its contributing editor of Cultural Studies and Jazz Publications.