Head Hunters: The Music of Herbie Hancock

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, 2017

Cover of Herbie Hancock's Head Hunters albumThe Grinnell College Jazz Ensemble will perform “Head Hunters: The Music of Herbie Hancock” [’60] on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017.

The free, public concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Herrick Chapel, 1128 Park St., Grinnell.

Hancock is a renowned jazz composer, musician, bandleader, record producer, arranger, and actor.

The ensemble will pay tribute to Hancock by performing the music from one of his most seminal albums, Head Hunters. Recorded in 1973, Head Hunters had an enormous impact on the trajectory of jazz. Following on his earlier work with the Miles Davis electric bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Hancock incorporated sounds drawn from funk, rock, and soul music, creating a package that was equal parts experimental and groovy. 

Hancock, one of the most influential and prolific innovators in the history of jazz, has been on the creative cutting edge of American music for five decades. His omnivorous musical imagination has taken him from his longstanding collaborations with Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter to working with songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder, and to performing and recording with contemporary artists like Christina Aguilera and Kanye West.

Directed by Mark Laver, assistant professor of music, the Grinnell Jazz Ensemble performs music from a wide variety of jazz-related styles and frequently performs works by both veteran and contemporary jazz composers. While the ensemble focuses primarily on traditional jazz ensemble literature, the group occasionally embarks upon large-scale musical performances of a nontraditional nature.

Past concerts have included pieces by composers such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Sammy Nestico, Charles Mingus, Maria Schneider, Gordon Goodwin, Thad Jones, and Oliver Nelson.

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