Herbie Hancock Photography

Herbie Hancock

Herbert “Herbie” Hancock is one of the most renowned and innovative figures in jazz, but also has been unafraid to adapt and experiment beyond the conventions of the genre. After his first solo album Takin’ Off, Hancock joined Miles Davis’ “second great quintet” in 1963, where Hancock helped to pioneer the “post-bop” sound, redefining the role of a jazz rhythm section with the introduction of orchestral harmonies and unusual chord structures.

After multiple critically-acclaimed albums like Maiden Voyage (1965) and Head Hunters (1973), Hancock developed a fascination with electronic instruments. The fusion of synthesizers with jazz and hip-hop resulted in 1983’s electro-funk breakout hit “Rockit,” which won him both a Grammy and multiple MTV Awards for the innovative animatronics-filled music video.

The turn of the century hasn’t slowed Hancock down. In 2008, he won the Grammy for Album of the Year—only the second time a jazz album has earned this honor—for his Joni Mitchell tribute album River: The Joni Letters. This 2013 Kennedy Center honoree is currently working on an album that will feature several top artists in the world of hip-hop.

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