Jazz pianist, composer and Grammy-award winner, Herbie Hancock, has been appointed a UNESCO goodwill ambassador. His pledge is to utilize jazz music as a vehicle that will traverse the rough terrain of cultural boundaries. He is determined to bring his message of hope, creativity and literacy to youth in every corner of the globe.
The 71-year-old Hancock has won 14 Grammy awards during his prolific career, which has spanned half a century, and he has lived long enough to see many of his songs become standards. He is supporting 100% the UNESCO project that will declare April 30 of every year to be International Jazz Day.
Hancock was acclaimed as a child prodigy and he became famous in the 1960s when he played alongside the legendary trumpeter, Miles Davis. He has been playing piano since 1947 and he fervently believes that music is the key to world improvement and better communication. Jazz and literacy are intertwined, as success in both areas is contingent on freedom and discipline joining forces.
Hancock is a devout Buddhist and his life’s journey and true heart are all about peace and good will. His latest musical endeavor, the Grammy-winning Imagine Project is unique in that it features performers from all over the world. His purpose in making the album was to create a path for world peace through global collaboration.
Recognizing the interaction of musicians from diverse backgrounds, the idea is to promote respect for all cultural heritages. For the composer of Watermelon Man, Chameleon and Cantaloupe Island, retirement isn’t even in the future.
Hancock has his mission; may it embrace us all.
Check out this video showing Herbie Hancock at work on his Imagine Project. If shadows of John Lennon persist, don’t be surprised.