By Yali Chen
Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
2012-03-17 03:09 PM
Born in Chicago in 1940, Hancock showed a talent for classical music at an early age. At the age of 11 he performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in D major with Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Classical music has laid the foundations for Hancock’s career. But he began playing jazz in high school, initially influenced by great jazz musicians Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans.
In 1963, Miles Davis invited the 23-year-old Hancock to join the Miles Davis Quintet. During his five years with Davis, Hancock and other band members recorded many classics, including “ESP,” “Nefertiti” and “Sorcerer.”
Hancock’s own solo career blossomed on Blue Note, with seven albums including “Empyrean Isles,” “Maiden Voyage,” and “Speak Like a Child.” He also composed the score to Italian auteur Michelangelo Antonioni’s film “Blow Up” in 1966.
In 1973 Hancock founded a new band “The Headhunters” and recorded an album of the same title. With its crossover hit single “Chameleon,” it became the first jazz album to go platinum.
In 2007 Hancock released “River: The Joni Letters,” a tribute to his longtime friend and collaborator Joni Mitchell. The release garnered two wins for Best Contemporary Jazz Album and Album of The Year at the Grammy Awards in 2008.
"This achievement marked only the second time in history a jazz album had won the highest honor with the last taking place almost 50 years ago,” says Bernard Fu, Director of Classics & Jazz Division of Universal Music Taiwan.
Over the past five decades, Hancock has created his unique style of jazz music combining jazz fusion, electronic music, R&B, and funky. The 72-year-old recording artist has released almost 80 albums.
In February 2008, Hancock and young classical pianist Lang Lang performed together at the 50th Grammy Awards, playing George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” They will also work together this year, says Elijah Chen, Senior Manager of Classical and Jazz Department for Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan.
Tickets for the April 13 concert are now available at http://www.ticket.com.tw