Award-winning jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock was born on April 12, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois.
During his career, the renowned musician worked with jazz icons such as Donald Byrd and Miles Davis and at the same time developed his own stylistically diverse discography. He was one of the first jazz musicians to include synthesizers and funk music in his work and achieved a lot of crossover success.
Hancock started learning the piano at the age of 7. In his early teenage years, the child prodigy had mastered Mozart, which he performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His passion for jazz composition emerged during his school days and flourished when he attended Grinnell College in 1956. Despite his deep interest in technology, Hancock switched his major from electrical engineering to music composition and founded his own group.
In the decades that followed, the pianist consolidated his place in music history, beginning with his role in Miles Davis & # 39; second great quintet. The group's work helped redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section.
For Hancock's solo work, his 2007 album River: The Joni Letters won the 2008 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. He has also won 13 additional Grammy Awards, 5 MTV Video Awards and an Oscar for the Round Midnight Soundtrack.
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(Photo: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters)