Herbie Hancock to Kick Off McCoy Center's 2013-14 Season, 10/8
Recognized as a legendary pianist and composer for compositions such as "Cantaloupe Island," "Maiden Voyage," "Watermelon Man," "Chameleon," and "Rockit," Herbie 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 (2007) and two Grammy Awards for his globally collaborative The Imagine Project (2010).
CAPA presents Herbie Hancock at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts (100 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., New Albany) on Tuesday, October 8, at 8 pm. Tickets are $35-$65 at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, andwww.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.
This performance is made possible through the generous support of Corna Kokosing. The 2013-2014 Marquee Season is presented by the Limited Brands Foundation.
Born in Chicago in 1940, Hancock was a child piano prodigy who performed a Mozart piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11. He began playing jazz in high school, initially influenced by Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans. He also developed a passion for electronics and science, and double-majored in music and electrical engineering at Grinnell College.
In 1960, Herbie was discovered by trumpeter Donald Byrd. After two years of session work with Byrd, as well as Phil Woods and Oliver Nelson, he signed with Blue Note as a solo artist. His 1963 debut album, Takin' Off, was an immediate success, producing the hit "Watermelon Man."
In 1963, MiLes Davis invited Hancock to join the MiLes Davis Quintet. During his five years with Davis, Hancock and his colleagues Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Ron Carter (bass), and Tony Williams (drums) recorded many classics, including "ESP," "Nefertiti," and "Sorcerer." Later on, Hancock made appearances on Davis' groundbreaking "In a Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew," which heralded the birth of jazz-fusion.
Hancock's own solo career blossomed on Blue Note, with classic albums including Maiden Voyage, Empyrean Isles, and Speak Like a Child. He composed the score to Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 film Blow Up, which led to a successful career in feature film and television music.
After leaving Davis, Hancock put together a new band called The Headhunters and, in 1973, recorded Head Hunters. With its crossover hit single "Chameleon," it became the first jazz album to go platinum.
By mid-decade, Hancock was playing for stadium-sized crowds all over the world and had no fewer than four albums in the pop charts at once. In total, he had 11 albums in the pop charts during the 1970s. His '70s output inspired and provided samples for generations of hip-hop and dance music artists.
Hancock also stayed close to his love of acoustic jazz in the '70s, recording and performing with VSOP (reuniting him with his MiLes Davis colleagues), and in duet settings with Chick Corea and Oscar Peterson.
In 1980, Hancock introduced trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to the world as a solo artist, producing his debut album and touring with him as well. In 1983, a new pull to the alternative side led Hancock to a series of collaborations with Bill Laswell. The first, Future Shock, again struck platinum, and the single "Rockit" rocked the dance and R&B charts, winning a Grammy for Best R&B Instrumental. The video of the track won five MTV awards. "Sound System," the follow-up, also received a Grammy in the R&B instrumental category.
Hancock won an Oscar in 1986 for scoring the film Round Midnight, in which he also appeared as an actor. Numerous television appearances over the years led to two hosting assignments in the 1980s-"Rock School" on PBS and Showtime's "Coast to Coast."