Hancock, 71, whose rhythmic signature style incorporates jazz with elements of soul and funk, began playing piano at age 7 and was quickly recognized as a child musical prodigy. At age 11, the Chicago native landed a gig with the Chicago Symphony where he performed a piano concerto composed by Mozart that left his audience in awe of his musical gifts.
LIKE NewsOne On Facebook To Stay Up On Black News Worldwide!
After graduating from high school Hancock joined iconic trumpeter Donald Byrd’s quartet and eventually caught the eye of jazz great Miles Davis. Hancock then began leading fusion bands which eventually lead him down the path of jazz funk, spawning such hits as “Watermelon Man” (1962), “Chameleon” (1973) and “Rockit” (1983).
The recipient of 14 Grammy Awards and an Academy Award over a career that spans five decades, Hancock is still a jazz force to be reckoned with. His timeless body of work has been sampled and covered by artists from LL Cool J and Madonna, to Schoolly D.
“There are few artists in any genre who have had a career as rich and influential as Mr. Hancock’s, and his memoir promises to be not only the record of a remarkable life and career but a singular chronicle of one of the most fertile periods in the development of jazz,” said Clare Ferraro, president of Viking Press to CBS News.
Reportedly, the publishing house will employ a collaborator to work with Hancock on his life’s story, which will also include information about his spiritual journey into Buddhism.