Arts & Culture

Hancock named Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year

2 min read

The Artist of the Year award will be presented to Herbie Hancock during the Harvard Cultural Festival on Saturday (March 1) in Sanders Theatre. He will receive the award during the afternoon show, which starts at 3 p.m.

Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Herbie Hancock has been named the 2008 Artist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations of Harvard University. Hancock, the unanimous choice of the selection committee, will be awarded the foundation’s most prestigious medal at Harvard’s annual Cultural Rhythms ceremony on Saturday (March 1).

“The students and faculty of Harvard are delighted to present the 2008 Artist of the Year award to the legendary jazz pianist and Grammy Award-winner Herbie Hancock,” said S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation. “He is a masterful artist, a brilliant composer of modern jazz who has shared his musical gifts with humanity in ways that inspire and unify.”

Hancock has had an impressive career in modern jazz. He is known for a creative style that incorporates multiple genres such as R&B and electronic music. Hancock has performed throughout the world and received 12 Grammy Awards for his creative artistry. His most recent album, “River: The Joni Letters,” garnered the 2008 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, the first time a jazz album has won Album of the Year since 1964. His humanitarian contributions being recognized by Harvard include his special initiatives on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, AIDS Walk Africa, and the Rhythm of Life Organization.

The Harvard Foundation, Harvard’s pre-eminent center for intercultural arts and sciences initiatives, honors the nation’s most acclaimed artists and scientists each year. The Harvard Foundation’s Artist of the Year award bears the signatures of Harvard’s president and the dean of Harvard College as well as the Harvard Foundation director. Previous Harvard Foundation artists/humanitarian awards have been presented to other distinguished individuals such as Sharon Stone, James Earl Jones, Andy Garcia, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Halle Berry, Jackie Chan, Denzel Washington, and Salma Hayek.