Herbie Hancock

Active - 1966 - 2022  |   Born - Apr 12, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois, United States  |   Genres - Music, Drama

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Influential jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock has scored a number of feature films beginning with the music for Blow Up (1966). Hancock's best-known score was that for the jazz lover's delight 'Round Midnight, which won him an Oscar for Best Original Score. Hancock also appeared in the film as a piano player.

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  • Trained in classical music, he performed excerpts from Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 5 in D at a Chicago Symphony young-people's concert at age 11; formed a jazz ensemble in high school.
  • After college, joined trumpeter Donald Byrd's band; played with the Miles Davis Quintet from 1963 to 1968.
  • His 1973 funk release Headhunters was the first jazz album to go platinum.
  • The video for his Grammy-winning 1983 hit "Rockit" won five awards at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards show in 1984.
  • Won a National Endowment for the Arts "Jazz Master" award in 2004.
  • Named the Creative Chair for Jazz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2010.
  • Became an honorary UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2011.
  • Is a Buddhist.