05/23/11

Herbie Hancock Receives Honorary Doctoral Degree from Juilliard

Also honored were composer and conductor John Adams, actor Derek Jacobi and choreographer Twyla Tharp.

With an expansive career that spans five decades and has brought to him fourteen Grammy Awards, Herbie Hancock was received yet another recognition for all his contributions to the jazz and music community. The acclaimed jazz pianist and producer received an honorary Doctor of Music Degree from The Juilliard School on Friday, May 20, 2011 at the school’s 106th Commencement Ceremony in Alice Tully Hall. Other recipients of the Honorary Doctoral Degree were composer and conductor John Adams, actor Derek Jacobi and choreographer Twyla Tharp.

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Herbie Hancock at Juilliard’s 106th Commencement Ceremony receiving his honorary degree
By Peter Schaaf
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Herbie Hancock at Juilliard’s 106th Commencement Ceremony receiving his honorary degree from Juilliard’s Provost and Dean, Ara Guzelimian and Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi
By Peter Schaaf

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Hancock was born in Chicago in 1940. He first entered the music scene at the age of 11, a young piano prodigy, and performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in D Major with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Hancock released his debut jazz album, Takin’ Off, in 1962 on Blue Note Records. Soon after, Miles Davis recruited Hancock, and during their five years working together, along with other artists, they produced many influential albums, including , Nefertiti, and Sorcerer. Since then, he has released a multitude of albums. His latest CD, Herbie Hancock’s Imagine Project, released in 2010 brought Hancock another two Grammys.

In addition to his musical contributions, Hancock has worked to help uphold jazz’s legacy as the chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Hancock serves as founder of The International Committee of Artists for Peace, to show how the arts can foster the principles of humanism and nonviolence.

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