Pianist Herbie Hancock, who was born in Chicago, has always been ahead of his time. Whether as the big name behind the experimental electronic music of Miles Davis, or with the release of his famous record Head Hunters, Hancock has always demonstrated a visionary outlook. As an improviser and accompanying pianist for other soloists in the pure jazz scene, he is one of the most original and creative spirits from the generation that came forth from the sixties. As a pioneer he moved through jazz rock, funk and hard bop. From a Gershwin project, to a duo album with sax player Wayne Shorter. From languid ambient beats and up-beat techno jazz with deejays, to exploratory bebop with the trio Hancock/Hargrove/Brecker. Hancock's musical career - he was discovered at the age of twenty by trumpeter Donald Byrd, who had Hancock sign his first contract with Blue Note - already spans forty years.
At the North Sea Jazz Festival, Hancock will perform two concerts with his super jazz quintet: saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Dave Holland, power drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and the African guitarist Lionel Loueke. He will also present his more pop-oriented work with the same quintet, supplemented with the singers Amy Keys and Sonya Kitchell. They will perform the albums River: The Joni Letters - the jazzy tribute to singer Joni Mitchell - and Possibilities, for which he restructured pop songs and gave them a jazzy heart. It should be mentioned that River: The Joni Letters was recently the first jazz album since 1965 to receive a Grammy for best album, competing with a number of important pop records at that.