Karlton Hester

Professor of Music

Karlton E. Hester, Ph.D. (composer/flutist/saxophonist), began his career as a composer and recording artist in Los Angeles where he worked as a studio musician and music educator. He received his Ph.D. in composition from the City University of New York Graduate Center and is currently Director of "Jazz" Studies (and member of the Digital Arts and New Media faculty) at the University of California in Santa Cruz. As performer on both flute and saxophone, he is founding music director of the Fillmore Jazz Preservation Big Band (in San Francisco), director of Hesterian Musicism, and served as the Herbert Gussman Director of Jazz Studies at Cornell University from 1991-2001. Hester specializes in premeditated, spontaneous and electro-acoustic composition. His compositions span a wide range; from numerous solo cycles for various woodwinds to chamber configurations, music videos and electro-acoustic symphonic works written in an eclectic array of styles.

Email: 
hesteria@ucsc.edu
Associate Professor
Research Interests: 

Hester has been the recipient of composer fellowships, grants and commissions from the National Endowment of the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New England Council of the Arts, Fund for US Artists for International Participation in International Festivals, ASCAP, the William Grant Still Foundation, a Postdoctoral fellowship from the Mellon Foundation, amongst others. His albums and DVDs include 21st-Century Musicism; The Divine Particle Vision, The Fillmore Jazz Preservation Big Band (featuring John Handy and Denise Perrier); Harmonious Soul Scenes 2000; Musicism for the Sake of Love; Hesterian Liberation; Reconstructive Musicism; Karlton Hester and the Contemporary Jazz Art Movement; Hesterian Musicism; Dances Purely for the Sake of Love; Musicism for Your Imagination, Sacred Musicism, and others. His books on music include his most recent publication, African Roots of the “Jazz” Evolution (2017, 3rd Edition). Survey of African Music (2011), Exploratory Musicism: Ideas for Spontaneous Composition (2010), Bigotry and the Afrocentric Jazz Evolution, (4th Edition) and The Melodic and Polyrhythmic Development of John Coltrane's Spontaneous Composition in a Racist Society.

 

Karlton Hester has performed throughout the USA and worldwide (Bolivia, Nigeria, Hong Kong, Peru, Egypt, Korea, Germany, France, South Africa, Mexico, Thailand, Canada) and he has been the recipient of composer fellowships, grants and commissions from the National Endowment of the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New England Council of the Arts, Fund for US Artists for International Participation in International Festivals, ASCAP, the William Grant Still Foundation, a Postdoctoral fellowship from the Mellon Foundation, amongst others.  Hester Festivals and Conferences (at Cornell and UCSC with Hesterian Musicism and the Traditional & Experimental Cornell Lab Ensembles) have included Jaki Byard, John Handy, Joe Henderson, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Stanley Turrentine, Louis Jordan, Buddy Collette, Dr. Donald Byrd, Dr. Billy Taylor, Randy Weston, Charles Lloyd, Geri Allen, Benny Powell Charles Tolliver, Steve Turre, Sam Rivers, Thomas Mapfumo (Zimbabwe), George E. Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Hotep Galeta (South Africa), Victor Goines, Akua Dixon, Mamadou Diabate (Mali), Samite Mulondo (Uganda), Cecilia Smith, Phil Bowler, Adela Dalto, Akua Dixon, Pamela Wise, Nick Mathis, and many other renowned innovators, jazz and African artists.

Hesterian Musicism explores a variety of ways to achieve abstract balance, aesthetic satisfaction, harmony, contrast, and effective modes of interdisciplinary artistic expression, to produce effective means of communicating with others in our global community.Thus, Hesterian Musicism is a conceptual approach where individual skill and imagination uses past traditions as stepping-stones to future creations, not as ends in themselves. The goal is to produce synergetic experimentation that enables art and artists with diverse perspectives to find common modes of expression and mutual vocabularies through which to express reflections of our contemporary world.

 

Education and Training: 
B.M., University of Texas at El Paso
M.A. in Music Education, San Francisco State University
Ph.D. in Composition, City University of New York Graduate Center
Selected Publications: 

 

Exploratory Musicism

Ideas for Spontaneous Composition

By Karlton Hester

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60927-132-9, 438 pages

©2012

https://titles.cognella.com/exploratory-musicism-9781609271329.html

 

 African Roots of the Jazz Evolution

 (Third Edition)

 By Karlton E. Hester, Ph.D.

 Paperback ISBN: 978-1-63487-498-4, 664 pages

 ©2017

 https://titles.cognella.com/african-roots-of-the-jazz-evolution-9781634874984.html?platform=hootsuite

 

Survey of African Music

(Revised Edition)

Edited by Karlton E. Hester, Ph.D.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-62661-043-9, 400 pages

©2014

https://titles.cognella.com/survey-of-african-music-9781626610439.html

 

The Melodic and Polyrhythmic Development of John Coltrane's Spontaneous Composition in a Racist Society

 

by Hester, Karlton E.

Mellon Press ©1997

http://mellenpress.com/mellenpress.cfm?bookid=2075&pc=9

 


 

Selected Recordings: 

 

Quantum Portal

Quantum Microtubules 

Quantum Hesteria 

Funky Quantum Ion 

Divine Particle's Vision #3

Part 1 is here:

 (length = 15:01)

Divine Particle's Vision #3 (Part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3urOzyhr8A

Divine Particle's Vision #3 (Part 5)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgVjdAlELCA

 

 

 

Phone: 
(831) 459-2575
Office: 
284 Music Center
Office Hours: