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Byard with flute
Byard Lancaster playing  flute during interview  at World Cafe Live on April 9th, 2005

This website was created for an oral history project in the World and Music Cultures class taught by Dr. Carol Muller at the University of Pennsylvania. The project involved exploring Philadelphia jazz by conducting interviews with members of the jazz community. The goal of the project is to educate people about the importance of jazz and music in the community and to show the role which music plays in the history and culture of Philadelphia. Our interview was conducted with Byard Lancaster, an avant-garde jazz musician and native Philadelphian. Mr. Lancaster shared some of his past experiences as a musician in Philadelphia and many other cities, and he noted the uniqueness of “Philly Jazz” in the world of jazz music. He also noted the importance of blending jazz with other genres of music such as blues and reggae, and the role of jazz as a form of communication and expression. Mr. Lancaster also shared with us the message that a successful career in jazz is dependent not only on musical talent, but a strong sense of personal dedication, knowledge of the business world, and the ability to forge relationships within the community. We appreciated the time that Byard Lancaster was generous enough to spend with us.

 The interview was conducted at World Café Live in Philadelphia on April 9, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. It was recorded on both audio and video tape.  Members of the group included Sara Strickland, Ronald Darbouze, Mark Yuhas,  Lavin Daryanani, and Dasha Pechersky.