Jazz legend Herbie Hancock is most well known for some of his greatest musical accomplishments, being a Grammy-nominated artist, and connecting with other accomplished artists across generations. But today, he is known as one of the most famous humanitarians in the world for his efforts towards peace and prosperity.
One of Hancock’s biggest accomplishments in 2012 is the launch of International Jazz Day, his very first major initiative since being announced as the Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in July 2011. Because of Hancock’s efforts, this past year’s events included concerts that were held in concerts in Paris, New York City and New Orleans, as well as jazz-related events in several dozen countries from Algeria to Uruguay. The lineup for the event included Hancock himself, as well as Wynton Marsalis, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding and many others.
Hancock said that he believes this initiative was “really about the international diplomatic aspect of jazz and how it has throughout a major part of its history been a major force in bringing people of various countries and cultures together.” Hancock also said that this bold project was an extension of his 2010 album, The Imagine Project, a genre-bending CD featuring a plethora of pop and world music stars from 10 countries.
Hancock has proven himself to be a major and powerful figure in using music as a humanitarian effort that can help to bring the world together. In a season where we are supposed to do the most good by our fellow human beings and increase our sense of giving, hopefully musicians, artists and music business professionals everywhere can use Hancock’s example to help make our world a better place.