Our Mentor-in-Residence

Dr. Bill Banfield has served as Professor of Africana Studies/Music and Society and founding director of the Center for Africana Studies/Liberal Arts at the Berklee College of Music. He taught in the Department of Composition and in the graduate program from 2005 to 2020.

In the past 25+ years, he has produced a body of productive music/ arts scholarship activities, books, compositions, recordings, establishing an active teaching, student and music/ lecture programming development, professional service and creative work, that contributes to contemporary arts leadership. He is founder/ director of JazzUrbane, a contemporary jazz art recording label, dedicated to producing creative new artists. The seminal project released in 2014, was produced by legendary icon George Duke, and included such leading artists as; Christian Scott, Terri Lyn Carrington, Najee, Greg Osby, and Grace Kelly. The label has already produced and released 8 albums now heard internationally.

As our Mentor-in-Residence, Dr. Banfield uses his wide-reaching experience and creativity to inspire our department to view jazz in its entirety, from its cultures, history, experience, and beyond. He also provides special curation from JazzUrbane and his extensive catalog to bring our DJs' shows to the next level of contemporary radio and assist in special projects, such as artist interviews and his very own Essays of Note series.

Our DJs

Alyssa Wagner '24

Jazz idols: João Donato, Blossom Dearie, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Nancy Wilson

Concentration: East Asian Studies

Interests: LORD OF THE RINGS, GAME OF THRONES, trivia, and grapefruit juice

David Chen '22

Jazz Idols: Jacob Collier, Louis Cole, Jacob Mann, Jake Kaufman, Calum Bowen, and insaneintherainmusic

Concentration: Computer Science, Secondary in Music

Interests: Video games, video game soundtracks, piano, youtube, headphones, and anything audio-related

Zavier Chavez '23

Jazz Idols: Mongo Santamaria, Esperanza Spalding, and Chick Corea

Concentration: Philosophy, Secondary in Environmental Science and Public Policy

Interests: Education, latin percussion, and animal advocacy

Steven Portillo '23

jazz idol: talie monin

concentration: molecular and cellular biology

interests: directingthe darker side department at whrb!

Chloe Koulefianou '23

Jazz Idol: Cécile McLorin Salvant

Concentration: Social Studies, Secondary in African Studies

Andrew Nickerson '24

Jazz Idol: Bill Evans

Concentration: Computer Science

Interests: Almost anything music related (WHRB, G&S, HRO), playing volleyball, photography, and graphic design

Sam Murdock '23

Jazz Idols: Nina Simone, Count Basie, Chick Corea, Benny Goodman, Lalah Hathaway

Concentration: Neuroscience & Philosophy, Secondary in Chemistry

Interests: Wind Ensemble, Singing/Songwriting, Philosophy of Science, Visual Arts, Froggy Chair, Witchcraft

Pratap Signh '21.5

Jazz Idol: Ahmad Jamal, Herbie Hancock

Concentration: Computer Science

Interests: Urbanism, sci-fi, general knowledge

Marc Courtemanche'24

Jazz Idol: Ron Carter, Esperanza Spalding, Charlie Haden

Concentration: Applied Math and Economics, Secondary in Ethnomusicology

Interests: Ultimate frisbee, playing bass in the jazz groups on campus

Robert Greene '24

Jazz Idol: Louis Armstrong, Bill Evans

Concentration: Environmental Science and Public Policy

Interests: Sustainability, music, dogs :)

Steph Yao '22.5

Jazz Idol: Duke Ellington

Concentration: Comparative Literature

Interests: Film, spicy food, and dance music!

Halima Badri '23

Jazz Idol: The one and only First Lady of Jazz -- Ella Fitzgerald

Concentration: Psychology, Secondary in Folklore and Mythology

Interests: Crimson Key Society, the Women in Law Association, Response Peer Counseling, Peer Advising, baking, reading, hiking and biking!

Calla Bai '23

Jazz Idol: Milt “The Bags” Jackson

Interests: Harvard Undergraduate Student Art Collective and the Harvard Korean Association

Isa Peña '24

Jazz Idol(s): Etta James, Billie Holiday

Concentration: Government

Interests: Musical theater, sour patch kids, Stephen King novels

Max Snyder '23

Jazz Idol: Frank Zappa, George Duke, John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth

Concentration: Computer Science

Interests: Jazz Fusion, Prog Rock, programming languages, and algorithms

Noah Covey '24

Jazz Idol: John Coltrane, Pat Matheny

Concentration: Applied Math

Interests: Playing piano, cooking, playing tennis

Claire Yoo '23.5

Jazz Idol(s): Monk, Mingus

Concentration: History and Literature

Interests: Stand-up comedy, film photography, cooking ungodly amounts of food

Hashem Abdou '24

Jazz Idol: Lyle Mays, Pat Metheny, Bird

Concentration: Biomedical Engineering and CS

Interests: Aerial photography, disruptive tech, surfing

Lilly Cunningham '23

Jazz Idol(s): Charles Mingus, Wes Montgomery

Concentration: History and Literature (for now…)

Interests: Nature documentaries, surfing, sketch comedy

Micky (Micaela) Rosen '22

Jazz Idol(s): John Coltrane, Johnny Hodges, Miles Davis

Concentration: Art, Film, and Visual Studies

Interests: Mediocre tenor-sax playing gay art nerd who loves corn ice cream, climbing trees, and long improvisations

Catherine Deskur '24

Jazz Idol(s): Buddy Rich, Bill Evans, Kamasi Washington

Concentration: Computer Science

Interests: Biking, making Spotify playlists, and playing with my two cats,

David Shaw '24

Jazz Idol(s): Yoko Miwa, Jacob Collier

Concentration: Economics

Interests: Anything outside, spikeball on the beach

Céline Cuadra '24

Jazz Idol(s): Chick Corea, Wes Montgomery, Caetano Veloso, Jaime Roos

Concentration: History and Literature & Art, Film and Visual Studies

Interests: Communalism, Gardening, Cooking

Ashley Chung '24

Jazz Idol(s): Count Basie, Dinah Washington, Shirley Scott

Concentration: Economics

Interests: Food, my dog

Griffin Andres '22

Jazz Idol(s): Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Sun Ra, Milt Jackson

Concentration: Visual and Environmental Studies

Interests: Got much love for the arts (cinematic, culinary, musical and visual), catch me cruising around town on my bike

Henry Haimo '24

Jazz Idol(s): Frank Sinatra, Erroll Garner, Amy Winehouse

Concentration: Philosophy

Interests: Acting, making affogatos, & learning *jazz* piano!

Shan Ara '23

Jazz Idol(s): Joy Crookes, Little Simz, Jelani Blackman, Samm Henshaw, Black Pumas

Concentration: Government

Interests: Creative writing (poetry, vignettes, short stories, novels), beautiful architecture, long walks

Aarya Aparna Kaushik '24

Jazz Idol(s): Turiya Alice Coltrane, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan

Concentration: English and Music, Pre-Med Track

Interests: Staff Writer for the Crimson Arts Board, Cultural Co-Chair for the South Asian Association, clinical student researcher, consuming ungodly amounts of coffee, asking to pet any and every dog in Harvard Square

Jeromel Dela Rosa Lara '23

Jazz Idol(s): Bong Peñera, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Rubén Blades, Nat King Cole

Concentration: Social Anthropology and Comparative Study of Religion

Interests: Jazz as a global phenomenon, WHRB, Bossa Nova

Albert Zhang '22.5


Concentration: Art, Film and Visual Studies

Interests: Funk sci-fi disco, funk classical