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Zawinul Gets Recognized

The 2000 Hans Koller Prize, named after the great Austrian Composer, was awarded to Joe Zawinul in honor of a lifetime of achievements in jazz. The Honors Committee, established by the Austrian Music Office Board, unanimously decided to award the 150,000 Austrian shillings (roughly $10,000 American dollars) to Zawinul.

Popularly known as the keyboardist and co-founder of the fusion band Weather Report, Zawinul received a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in 1959, but stayed only a short while. When he met Miles Davis in 1960, Zawinul left school and entered the real jazz world, playing on such landmark albums as In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. The time spent with Davis helped direct the experimental nature of Weather Report, but more recently, Zawinul has experimented with world music and hip-hop rhythms and instrumentations.

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