Now in the sixth decade of his professional life, Herbie Hancock remains where he has always been: at the forefront of world culture, technology, business and music. In addition to being recognized as a legendary pianist and composer, Hancock has been an integral part of every popular music movement since the 1960s.
As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet that pioneered a groundbreaking sound, 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. “Rockit” and “Future Shock” marked Hancock's foray into electronic dance sounds; 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 has 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 collaborative CD “The Imagine Project.” Many of his works, including “Canteloupe Island,” “Maiden Voyage,” “Watermelon Man” and “Chameleon,” are modern standards.
Hancock serves as creative chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and as institute chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz. He is a founder of the International Committee of Artists for Peace, and was given the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. In 2011, Hancock was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, and in 2013, received the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2014, he was was named the 2014 Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University, completing his lectures series, “The Ethics of Jazz,” as part of the Charles Eliot Norton Lecture Series.
His memoir, Herbie Hancock: Possibilities, was published by Viking in 2014. In 2016, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Hancock is currently in the studio at work on a new album.
Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.