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Musician Herbie Hancock to receive George Peabody Medal

Herbie_Hancock_by_Suzette_Niess_JEN15_Keynote.jpg
Suzette Niess
/
Jazz Education Network
Herbie Hancock delivers the keynote address at the 2015 Jazz Education Network Conference in San Diego.

Iconic jazz musician Herbie Hancock to be honored with the George Peabody Medal and speak at the Peabody Conservatory commencement ceremony in Baltimore on May 25 at Johns Hopkins University.

Instituted in 1980, the George Peabody Medal for outstanding contributions to music in America honors distinguished composers, performers, philanthropists, scholars, and business and civic leaders.

Past recipients from the jazz community include drummer Roy Haynes, producer Quincy Jones and vocalist Ella Fitzgerald.

Perhaps no other individual represents modern American jazz and its evolution so well as Herbie Hancock.

“Chameleon” - Live @ The Knitting Factory, Los Angeles, 2001

A piano prodigy who performed a Mozart piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11, Hancock began playing jazz in high school, influenced by Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans.

Mentored by trumpeters Donald Byrd and Miles Davis through the 1960s, Hancock successfully incorporated rock, pop, rhythm and blues and funk into his music in the 1970s. He has since collaborated with numerous musicians from other genres and cultures.

Hancock is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, and the face of the International Jazz Day celebrations, held each year on April 30. He's also the chair of the Herbie Hancock Institute, a Kennedy Center honoree and a multiple Grammy winner, including the Grammy's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hancock's memoir "Possibilities" was published in 2015.

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