If there was a royal family of jazz, Herbie Hancock would be one of its princes. Because jazz is a family story, a story of encounters and styles. In the Hancock family, there is first of all the legend Miles Davis with whom Herbie Hancock, 23 years old, made his first steps as a pianist for the mythical Blue Note label in the early 60s. These were effervescent years and not only for jazz; Motown was created in Detroit in 1959 and the Stax label in 1963 in Memphis. This was a great opportunity for Herbie Hancock, a virtuoso artist with the soul of an adventurer.
He explores new sounds, and becomes a master of the synthesizer, walks on the side of the cinema and meets Antonioni, while composing major discs for the history of jazz. Never one to rest, he established himself as the new boss of hip-hop culture in 1983 with a zany hit: Rock-it. There were other journeys, just as unexpected and magnificent, such as Letters to Joni, dedicated to his friend Joni Mitchell, or Round Midnight, composed for Bertrand Tavernier. These encounters are often prolonged on stage, the ideal setting for the multiplication of Herbie Hancock’s genius.
Fifteen Grammys, an Oscar, a César, a title of Commander of the Arts and Letters, among other awards, punctuate the beautiful travels of this monument of jazz. With time, his turn came to transmit. This he does through the Herbie Hancock Institute, which gives a helping hand to young musicians, but also sees to their education. Such commitment to the service of others has not gone unnoticed by UNESCO, which has made Herbie Hancock its goodwill ambassador.
Copyright © Nick Letellier
Terence Blanchard : trumpet
Lionel Loueke : guitar, vocals
James Genus : bass
Justin Tyson : drums