Now in the fifth decade of his professional life, Herbie Hancock remains where he has always been: in the forefront of world culture, technology, business and music. In addition to being recognized as a legendary pianist and composer, Herbie Hancock has been an integral part of every popular music movement since the 1960’s. During his tenure as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet that pioneered a groundbreaking, more expansive sound and direction in jazz, he also developed new approaches on his own recordings, followed by his work in the 70s – with record-breaking albums such as “Headhunters” – that combined electric jazz with funk and rock in an innovative style that continues to influence contemporary music to this day. “Rockit” and “Future Shock” marked Hancock’s foray into electronic dance music and included several chart-topping hits; during the same period he also continued to work in an acoustic setting with V.S.O.P., which included ex-Miles Davis bandmates Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams.
Hancock received an Academy Award for his Round Midnight film score and 14 Grammy Awards, including Album Of The Year for “River: The Joni Letters,” and two 2011 Grammy Awards for the recently released globally collaborative CD, “The Imagine Project.” Many of his compositions, including “Canteloupe Island,” “Maiden Voyage,” “Watermelon Man” and “Chameleon,” are modern standards that have had a profound effect on all styles of contemporary music.
Herbie Hancock also maintains a thriving career outside the performing stage and recording studio. He is the Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, and serves as Institute Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the foremost international organization devoted to the development of jazz performance and education worldwide. Hancock is a founder of The International Committee of Artists for Peace (ICAP), and was recently given the “Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres” by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon – the internationally esteemed Arts Award.
In 2011 Hancock was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. Recognizing Herbie Hancock’s “dedication to the promotion of peace through dialogue, culture and the arts,” the Director-General asked the celebrated jazz musician “to contribute to UNESCO’s efforts to promote mutual understanding among cultures with a particular emphasis on fostering the emergence of new and creative ideas amongst youth, to find solutions to global problems, as well as ensuring equal access to the diversity of artistic expressions.”