Internationally renowned pianist and composer, Herbie Hancock, will deliver this year’s commencement address for the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture (UCLA Arts) on Saturday, June 14, 2014. Commencement takes place at 4 pm at Dickson Court North (Perloff Quad) on the UCLA Campus.
A 14-time Grammy Award winner and Professor at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, Hancock has been an integral part of every jazz movement since the 1960s. Born in Chicago, he began playing piano at age seven. As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, Hancock became one of the pioneers of modern jazz improvisation. His recordings during the ’70s combined electric jazz with funk and rock sounds in an innovative style that influenced an entire decade of music. In 1983, “Rockit,” from the platinum-selling Future Shock album, won Hancock a Grammy for Best R&B Instrumental. He received an Academy Award in 1987 for Best Score, honoring his work on Round Midnight and in 2007, Hancock became the first jazz musician in 44 years to receive a Grammy Award for Album of the Year for his 47th studio release, River: The Joni Letters. As UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue, he established and co-chairs International Jazz Day, which is celebrated in every country around the world each April 30. Hancock also serves as Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
“We are absolutely delighted and deeply honored that the great Herbie Hancock will be our commencement speaker this year, ” says Daniel M. Neuman, Interim Director, Herb Alpert School of Music (former Dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost).
This year’s graduating class includes 386 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from across the School’s six academic units: Architecture and Urban Design, Art, Design Media Arts, Ethnomusicology, Music and World Arts and Cultures / Dance. The ceremony is open to the public.