awards for arts achievement
Public Leadership in the Arts Awards
Legendary Artist Honoree
Twelve-time Grammy Award winner Herbie Hancock is a jazz icon who has been an integral part of every jazz movement since his arrival on the scene in the 1960s. The internationally renowned pianist and composer was born in Chicago and began playing piano at age seven. When he was 20 years old, Hancock was invited by Donald Byrd to join his band. Byrd later helped him secure a recording contract with Blue Note Records.
Hancock's debut album, Takin' Off, included "Watermelon Man," the first of many Top 10 hits. As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, Hancock became one of the pioneers of modern jazz improvisation.
Hancock’s recordings during the 1970s combined electric jazz with funk and rock sounds in an innovative style that influenced a whole decade of music. In 1983, "Rockit," from the platinum-selling Future Shock album, won Hancock a Grammy for Best R&B Instrumental and became an anthem in the world of break dancing and early hip-hop culture. The "Rockit" video and Hancock's performance at the Grammy Awards have been cited by many major hip-hop deejays as their original inspiration for pursuing their art. Hancock received the 1987 Oscar Award for Best Score, honoring his work on Round Midnight.
In 2007, Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, making Hancock the first jazz musician to receive this honor in 44 years. His latest release is The Imagine Project, which was recorded all around the world with a variety of artists including India.Arie, Los Lobos, and Seal. Herbie Hancock continues to be a major creative force in jazz and a trailblazer in the world of music.
Mr. Hancock serves as Institute Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a nonprofit education organization whose mission is to offer the world's most promising young musicians college level training by America's jazz masters and to present public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world. All of these programs are offered free of charge to the students and schools.
Mr. Hancock is the Co-President of the International Committee of Artists for Peace (ICAP) is an organization of passionately committed individuals using the creative power of the arts.