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NYT: Herbie Hancock is Emmisary of an Art Form

Herbie HancockNate Chinen
New York Times

LOS ANGELES — Herbie Hancock, a pianist of sparkling touch and brisk intuition, has often seemed like a figure rushing ever onward, and the direction in which he has increasingly hurled himself is globe-trotting cultural diplomacy. “I don’t consider myself a spokesperson for jazz,” he said recently, implying that he has bigger concerns.

Seated in the living room of his casually elegant home here in West Hollywood, not far from an alcove crowded with Grammy Awards — more than a dozen of them, including one for album of the year — Mr. Hancock, 73, was in a cordial mood, quick with a disarming laugh. He was also still jet-lagged from an East Asian tour that had ended in copious meetings with government officials about International Jazz Day, his signature initiative as a good will ambassador for Unesco. Fortunately, there was a stretch of relative calm ahead before he was due in Washington, for this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, where he’ll be among a class of five honorees that includes Billy Joel and Shirley MacLaine. (The gala concert, which happens next Sunday, will be broadcast by CBS on Dec. 29.)

Source: New York Times

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