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Jazzman Herbie Hancock named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

Jazzman Herbie Hancock named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will designate American jazz musician Herbie Hancock as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 22 July.

Recognizing Herbie Hancock’s “dedication to the promotion of peace through dialogue, culture and the arts,” the Director-General has asked the celebrated jazz musician “to contribute to UNESCO’s efforts to promote mutual understanding among cultures, with a particular emphasis on fostering the emergence of new and creative ideas amongst youth, to find solutions to global problems, as well as on ensuring equal access to the diversity of artistic expressions.”

Now in the fifth decade of his professional life, with an Academy Award for his film score to Round Midnight and 14 Grammy Awards, Herbie Hancock remains where he has always been:  in the forefront of world culture, technology, business and music.  In addition to being recognized as a legendary pianist and composer, Herbie Hancock has been an integral part of every popular music movement since the 1960’s.

From his tenure as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet to the record-breaking “Headhunters” to the electronic dance music sounds of “Rockit” and “Future Shock,” Hancock has continuously pioneered a groundbreaking, more expansive sound and direction in all genres of music.  Many of his compositions, including “Canteloupe Island”, “Maiden Voyage,” “Watermelon Man” and “Chameleon,” are modern standards.

Herbie Hancock also maintains a thriving career outside the performing stage and recording studio. He is the Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, and serves as Institute Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the foremost international organization devoted to the development of jazz performance and education worldwide. He is also a founder of The International Committee of Artists for Peace (ICAP). Hancock was recently given the “Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres” by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon – the internationally esteemed Arts Award.


UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassadors are an outstanding group of celebrity advocates who have generously accepted to use their talent and status to help focus the world’s attention on the objectives and aims of UNESCO’s work in its fields of competence: education, culture, science, communication and information.