Herbie Hancock Gives a Demonstration of His Fairlight CMI Synthesizer to the Kids on ‘Sesame Street’ in 1983

Musician Herbie Hancock appeared on a 1983 episode of Sesame Street to give a demonstration of his new Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument) Synthesizer to Maria and The Kids.

Hancock asked Tatyana Ali, who much later played Ashley Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, to speak her name into the microphone. From there, Hancock remixed the recording, making Ali’s voice higher and lower. He then asked the other kids to press various keys for different sounds and explained to Maria that he can look at the music using a computer monitor.

Okay, the great thing about this is that we have a monitor so we can see what the sound looks like. Not just hear it but see what it looks like.

After they all left, Hancok then performed the Sesame Street theme in his own unique style.