CULE Festivals and Guest Artist History: 1992-2000 (Dr. Karlton E. Hester, Director)


- BIOGRAPHIES: Donald Byrd, Makanda McIntyre, Cecilia Smith, George Starks, Billy Taylor
- ARTICLES: Cornell Chronicle - 04/23/1998, 1998 "Jazz" Festival

Dr. Karlton Hester and Dr. Donald Byrd with the CU Lab Ensembles, December 1998

7th Annual Cornell University "Jazz" Festival

April 22
- Lecture Demonstration: Dr. Mike Woods
Invited to Music 222 - Survey of "Jazz" (Dr. Karlton E. Hester)
2:30 - 4PM - Barnes Hall, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.
- Rehearsal / Workshop: Dr. Mike Woods
6 - 8PM - 301 Lincoln Hall, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.

April 24
- Lecture Demonstration: Billy Taylor Trio (Billy Taylor, piano; Chip Jackson, bass; Steve Johns, drums)
"The history, evolution and the business of "jazz."
3 - 5 PM - Barnes Hall, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.

April 25
- Call & Response Conference: Dr. Donald Byrd, Dr. George Starks, Dr. Billy Taylor, and the Call & Response Panel
"The Sociocultural Evolution of African-American Music"
"The State of Innovative African-American "Jazz" at the End of the 20th Century"
Dr. James Turner and Dr. Karlton E. Hester, moderators.
1 - 3PM - Africana Studies & Research Center, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.
- Concert: the Billy Taylor Trio performs with the Cornell University Lab Ensembles.
Dr. Karlton E. Hester, director.
8PM - Statler Auditorium, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.

April 26
- Woodwind Workshop: Multi-woodwind-instrumentalist Dr. Makanda Ken McIntyre
2 - 3PM - H. F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.
- Performance: Cornell University Lab Ensembles
3:30 - 4:30PM - H. F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.
- Concert: Hesterian Musicism
8PM - Barnes Hall, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.
- Meeting: Closed Call & Response Session
11PM - Africana Studies & Research Center, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.

Fall Events

November 5
- Improvisation Workshop: Vibraphonist Cecilia Smith
2:30PM - Lincoln Hall, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY

November 6
- Concert: Hesterian Musicism performs with the Cornell University Experimental Lab Ensemble
Dr. Karlton E. Hester, director.
8PM - Barnes Hall, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.

December 4
- Lecture Demonstration: Trumpeter / scholar Dr. Donald Byrd
"Math is Music is Art Symedicity: A Theory of Music"
6:30PM - Barnes Hall, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.
- Concert: Guest Artist Dr. Donald Byrd performs with the Cornell University Lab Ensembles.
Dr. Karlton E. Hester, director.
8PM - Barnes Hall, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.


Donald Byrd

BYRD, Donald. trumpet. B. Detroit, Mich., 1932. One of the most polished of the new Detroiters, a trumpeter of large skills and originality. Byrd has been a major influence on “jazz” music for nearly half a century. He made a significant contribution to the hard bop style of the late 1950s and 60s during his days at Blue Note. His album Black Byrd was one of Byrd’s most widely sold recording. His work with “jazz” fusion of the 1970s demonstrated both his flexibility and his interest in keeping his music accessible to the African-American community. In the 1990s he has released albums like Getting Down To Business that confirm his roots in mainstream tradition while also touring and recording with Guru to inspire the younger generation of artists who have been forgotten by a large portion of our society.

Dr. Byrd is also an active scholar who recently gave wonderful lectures while visiting Cornell as a guest artist with our Lab Ensembles. He started “jazz” programs at a number of universities including Rutgers, Howard, Oberlin, and North Carolina. He is involved with video projects with BET, writing articles, and continues to experiment with a multiplicity of artistic elements. He is currently completing a book about African music. Not least of all, he is now manufacturing his own trumpet.

(Source - Hester, Karlton E.: From Africa to Afrocentric Innovations Some Call "Jazz" - Vol. 4. Ithaca, NY: Hesteria Records & Publishing Co., 2000)

Makanda McIntyre

Acclaimed composer, orchestrator, educator and multi-instrumentalist Dr. Makanda Ken McIntyre came of age in the avant-garde era when he recorded with Eric Dolphy, Cecil Taylor and Beaver Harris. He projects a life force in his playing that is energetic and intense, yet melodic, beautiful and sensual. His extraordinarily original rhythmic and lyrical style is reminiscent of his muse, Charlie Parker. Dr. McIntyre's compositions reflect the whole history of African American music - spirituals, blues, swing, calypso, bebop and avant-garde. His joyous images and bright melodies shine forth through intricate forms and rhythm structures, creating a personality that is charismatic, upbeat and compelling.

Dr. McIntyre has toured world-wide - including Austria, Bolivia, France, Israel, Japan, Scotland, Jamaica, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe. He has worked with Nat Adderley, Carla Bley, Jaki Byard, Bill Dixon, Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra, Craig Harris and Michael Mantler. He has recorded for the Blue Note, Serene, Steeplechase, United Artists and Prestige-New Jazz Labels.

As an educator, Dr. McIntyre has published six books, numerous articles and ahs been a faculty member at various institutions: The New School of School of Social Research, East Bronx Day Care Center, Fordham University, Smith College, Wesleyan University, Central State University and the New York Board of Education. After retiring from twenty four years as professor at the State University of New York / College at Old Westbury, he dediated his time to his first love full time - performance. As a leader he has eleven albums on the market.

Dr. Makanda Ken McIntyre on the origins of the term "jazz":

[...] So, how does that become the terminology for the music created by the African in America  - how and why? With the advent of global music so to speak, or world music, we have music form Java, we have music from Ethiopia, we have music from China, we have music from all over the world. All musics in the world are categorized from a standpoint of territorial, some territorial region - jazz. Hmm - on what of my albums I wrote “Who are jazz people? Where do jazz people come from? What is jazz?” So these questions can be answered superficially; but the fact is, that the music that is global has been created, was created by the enslaved African, has not really been attributed to the Africans in America.  I was on a panel a some years ago and I was talking about African American music - I didn’t last very long on the panel. I had to figure out why it was clear. [...]

(Source: Excerpt from the Call & Response Panel Discussion with Dr. Donald Byrd, Dr. George Starks, and Dr. Billy Taylor.
Cornell University - April 25, 1998. The complete transcribed version of this discussion is available through our online Encyclopedia of Global African Music)

Cecilia Smith

Cecilia Smith is currently one of the leading vibraphonists of Four Mallet Technique.  She has toured nationally and internationally. She has recorded and performed with several renown artists including: Gary Bartz, Greg Osby, Milt Hinton, Alan Dawson, Randy Weston, Donald Harrison, Hubert Laws, Mulgrew Miller, Donald Byrd (trumpet), Cassandra Wilson, and Digable Planets. She has released 4 independent CDs on the national and international level and one Japanese release. Her current c.d. is called Leave No Stone Unturned. She has composed for special projects including music for film and has won numerous awards and grants for her composing talent. She also teaches for a variety of performing arts programs including: Hospital Audiences Inc., The Jamaica Arts Center, The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn YWCA.  She is also a Visiting Artist/Lecturer for the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University.  She is a graduate and former faculty member of Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA). Please visit Cecilia’s web site at -

(For a more extensive biography of Cecilia Smith, please refer to the CU "Jazz" Festival page of 1995)

George Starks

George L. Starks, Jr. is a Professor of Music at Drexel University and an ethnomusicologist with a specialty in New World musics of African origin. As a scholar / musician, he has conducted field research in Barbados, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the South Carolina Sea Islands. His publications are on sacred and secular music, rural and urban music, and traditional and contemporary music. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Dr. Starks served as a contributing editor to the Black Perspective in Music, the premier scholarly journal on African-derived music, and serves on the editorial review board of the International Jazz Archives Journal.

A critically acclaimed saxophonist, he has performed with musicians ranging from avant-garde trumpeter Clifford Thornton to vocalist Roy Hamilton to Ghanaian master drummer Abraham Kobena Adzenyah.

Billy Taylor

Dr. Billy Taylor has enjoyed over fifty years in jazz and can be heard on countless recordings from the beginning of his career to the present, the most recent of which are on the GRP label. He has the unique pleasure of having lived through the history of the jazz of which he plays and talks. He maintains a very busy touring schedule with the Billy Taylor Trio while serving as Artistic Advisor for Jazz in Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center, where he hosts a new weekly NPR Radio show, Billy Taylor's Jazz from the Kennedy Center. In this interactive program, he performs with his Trio and invites a guest artist to "sit in" and field questions from the audience.

As Artistic Advisor he helps to develop and oversee both the jazz concert and educational programs at the Kennedy Center. In addition to his performances with his Trio alone, he often augments this configuration in a wide variety of projects that find him in performance with symphony orchestras, the Turtle Island String Quartet, and the Parsons Dance Company. He also performs with long-time friend Ramsey Lewis in a piano duo setting. Dr. Taylor has spent over fifteen years as jazz correspondent on CBS Sunday Morning for which he has won an Emmy Award and continues his lecture / demonstration series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. As an author, he has written "Jazz Piano," several instructional piano books, and many articles for magazines such as Esquire, Down Beat, and Keyboard. In July 1992, President George Bush presented Dr. Taylor with the exclusive National Medal of Arts, the nation's highest award for distinguished accomplishments in the arts. He has been a guest artist at the White House on seven different occasions and has participated in three State Department Tours. He is founder and past President of JAZZMOBILE, the unique outreach organization which produces concerts, clinics and brings jazz to thousands of people in free public performances. Dr. Taylor is a winnder of many awards including two Peabodys, the National Endowment for the Arts' Jazz Masters Award, the National Music Council's American Eagle Award, and the International Society of Performing Arts' Tiffany Award. He is a former member of the National Council on the Arts and is a member of the International Association of Jazz Educators' Hall of Fame.


Cornell Chronicle - 04/23/1998

Billy Taylor Trio is featured at the Cornell Jazz Festival this weekend

The Billy Taylor Trio will be the featured group at the 7th annual Cornell Jazz Festival Friday, April 24, through Sunday, April 26. The three-day event also features performances by a handful of jazz greats, among them pianist Randy Weston and trumpeter Donald Byrd.

Taylor has enjoyed over 50 years on the jazz stage and can be heard on countless recordings, the most recent of which are on the GRP label. In addition to performing, Taylor is artistic adviser for jazz at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where he hosts a weekly NPR radio show, Billy Taylor's Jazz from the Kennedy Center.

Taylor lectures widely about jazz and serves as jazz correspondent on CBS Sunday Morning, for which he won an Emmy Award. He also is an accomplished author and founder of the Jazzmobile, an organization that sponsors free public concerts and jazz clinics.

Among Taylor's many honors are two Peabody awards and the National Medal of Arts, which he received from President Bush
in 1992.

Below is a listing of Jazz Festival events. All are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted:

*  a lecture/demonstration by the Billy Taylor Trio, Friday, 3 p.m. in Barnes Hall. Taylor, accompanied by bassist Chip Jackson and drummer Steve Johns, will discuss the history and business of jazz.

*  a round-table discussion, Saturday, 1 p.m. at the Africana Studies and Research Center, 310 Triphammer Road, on the "Sociocultural Evolution of African American Music" and the "State of Innovative African American Jazz at the End of the Twentieth Century." Participants include jazz artists Randy Weston, Donald Byrd and George Starks. Professor James Turner and Assistant Professor Karlton Hester, the Herbert Gussman Director of Jazz Studies, will moderate.

*  a concert by the Billy Taylor Trio with the Cornell Lab Ensembles, Saturday at 8 p.m. in Statler Auditorium. Advance sale tickets are $10, $8 with a student ID, and are available at the Willard Straight Hall ticket office (255-3430), Hickey's Music Center (272-8262) and Rebop Records (273-0737). Tickets also will be available at the door for $12, $10 with a student ID.

*  a woodwind workshop by Makanda Ken McIntyre, Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. McIntyre has recorded on the Blue Note, Serene, Steeplechase, United Artists and Prestige-New Jazz labels and has toured widely with Nat Adderly, Carla Bley, Jaki Byard, Bill Dixon and Charlie Haden.

*  a concert by the Cornell Lab Ensembles under the direction of Karlton Hester, Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.

*  "Hesterian Musicism," with Randy Weston on piano, April 26 at 8 p.m. in Barnes Hall. Hesterian Musicism is a term coined by Hester to represent the process through which composition and performance merge to create aesthetic environments where musicians, kinetic and visual artists and poets can produce new art forms through imaginative effort. Participants include Hester, Byrd, Makanda Ken Mclntyre, Phil Bowler, Cecilia Smith, George Barron, Janet Barron, Bill Johnson, Edward Smith, Patricia Weiss and Sera Smolen. Tickets are $5 and will be sold only at the door.

The visit by the Billy Taylor Trio is supported in part by grants from the Cornell Council for the Arts and Meet The Composer
Inc. Additional funding for the Jazz Festival is provided by the Student Assembly Finance Commission. Other sponsors include
WHCD-FM 106.9. The festival is directed by Hester.

1998 "Jazz" Festival -

Spring 1998 Cornell "Jazz" Festival and Call and Response Conference: April 22-26

The Cornell University Lab Ensembles were privileged and honored to have Dr. Billy Taylor and his trio (Chip Jackson-bass, Steve Johns-drums) perform as guest artists at the Spring 1998 Cornell "Jazz" Festival. Dr. Taylor, a world renowned pianist, composer, clinician, author, television correspondent (CBS' "Sunday Morning"), and radio personality (host of National Public Radio's "Billy Taylor's Jazz at the Kennedy Center"), has gained an equally legendary role as a jazz educator and historian, founding the revolutionary Jazzmobile organization in the 60's.

Along with Dr. Taylor playing with the C.U. Lab Ensembles and holding a workshop, the festival featured an impressive addition to the musical performances--a series of lectures about the art form of jazz music and its current state. Besides our own Karlton Hester, the conference featured speakers/artists of the highest stature and caliber, including: Dr. Billy Taylor, Dr. Donald Byrd (trumpet) , Randy Weston (piano), Makanda Ken McIntyre(woodwinds), Charles Tolliver (trumpet), Phil Bowler (bass), Sera Smolen (cello), Edward Smith (percussion), Arthur Fuller (percussion), and the Uhuru Kuumba Dance Ensemble.

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Compiled: September 2001
Last Update: 08/22/2002

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