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Herbie Hancock was born in 1940 in Chicago. Young Herbie began studying classical music when he was only seven, and he very quickly mastered the most complicated piano pieces, even performing Mozart’s Piano Concert No. 5 at the age of eleven. Around the same time, Hancock began to develop an appreciation for jazz music, and by the time he entered college, he was pursuing his studies in the genre full-time.
In the early 1960’s, Herbie Hancock became the pianist for Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet. The experience helped Herbie to not only establish himself as a skilled musician, but also allow him to experiment with jazz more fully and to develop a unique sound. During this time, Hancock also recorded multiple sessions with such notable musicians as Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Wayne Shorter, and Bobby Hutcherson, mostly for the Blue Note label, and recorded his debut album, Takin’ Off, which was received to critical acclaim.
In the late 1960’s, Hancock switched to Wanrer Bros. Records and composed the soundtrack for Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, further bolstering his following. For the next three decades, Herbie Hancock’s star was on the rise, as he continued to record and release a series of hit albums and singles, including: “Watermelon Man,” “Chameleon,” “Doin’ It,” “Rockit,” and “Mega-Miz.” In the new millennium, Herbie Hancock continued to write, record, and perform, partnering with a number of other notable artists, including Santana Booking Agent & Management" href="http://www.bookingentertainment.com/artists/classic_rock/booking-carlos-santana.php">Carlos Santana, Annie Lennox, John Mayer, Kanye West, and Sting, to name a few. Hancock launched a European tour in 2005 and returned to the US at its end to perform at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. He also performed at Rhythm on the Vine in 2008, to benefit the Shriners Hospital for Children, and performed at the We Are One concert in 2009, as part of President Obama’s inaugural festivities.
For his contributions to music and his innovative talents, Herbie Hancock has received multiple Grammy Awards, including ones for: Best R&B Instrumental Performance, Best Instrumental Composition, Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Best Jazz Instrumental Solo, Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Jazz Album, Best Improvised Jazz Solo, and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Hancock is celebrated today as among the first jazz musicians to embrace an electronic, funk-oriented sound, often achieving enormous crossover success through his improvisational skills.
Most recently, Hancock joined the UCLA music department as a professor of jazz music. He was also recently named a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO. Herbie Hancock’s most recent release is The Imagine Project, which arrived in 2010.
Herbie Hancock Song List
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