Tune in weekday mornings for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of Herbie Hancock’s wonderful singing. Rodney Franks presents Stories of Standards Monday through Friday at 7:50 and 8:50 a.m. starting Monday, April 13!
Stories of Standards is sponsored byListenUp– If you love music, you’ll love ListenUp.
Herbie Hancock (Apr 12, 1920 – present) was a child prodigy, who performed a Mozart piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age eleven. Having become interested in jazz when in high school, he double-majored in music and electrical engineering at Grinnell College, which awarded him an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts in 1972. In 1960, having heard Chris Anderson play, he asked to be taken on as a student. Hancock worked with Miles Davis in the 1970s, produced Wynton Marsalis’ first album in 1980 and won an Oscar in 1986 for the “Round Midnight” score, a film in which he also acted. In 1962 he recorded his first solo album, “Takin’ Off” for Blue Note Records. In 1963 Hancock joined Miles Davis’ quintet. This album included “Watermelon Man”, which caught the attention of both Mongo Santamaria and Miles Davis. His first film soundtrack was for the 1966 Michelangelo Antonio film “Blowup”.
He is a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism, which guides his art and philosophies. He hosted the PBS program “Rock School” and Showtime’s “Coast to Coast”. He was designated an honorary UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2011 for the promotion of Intercultural Dialogue. Having won awards ever since a 1983 Grammy for Best R&B Instrumental Performance, including the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors Award, he was the 2014 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University, where he delivered a series of six lectures. He received the 2014 Jazz Foundation of America Lifetime Achievement award and a 2018 honorary degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He’s received, so far, six honorary doctorates.
“Jazz encourages you to have a desire to explore the unknown.” -Herbie Hancock