Sutton Foster, Patina Miller, Karen Olivo, Glenn Close, Anna Kendrick and More Took Part in Kennedy Center Honors; Details Revealed

By Andrew Gans
09 Dec 2013

Herbie Hancock
Television host and political commentator Bill O’Reilly spoke of his role model, Academy Award and multiple Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Herbie Hancock, stating, “Herbie Hancock is a remarkable artist and a remarkable American, so we start his tribute there. Over the years I’ve talked with Herbie a few times. I don’t hang with him… because I don’t want to ruin his reputation. When I do see him, I’m always impressed by his serenity, his modesty, his politeness. And believe me, I need that kind of role model… Here’s my history with jazz: When I was a young man, I pretended to like it. It just seemed cool... Then suddenly jazz seemed to change. And the instrument of that change I noticed – the whole music world noticed – was Herbie Hancock. There is no way I am qualified to speak about music… I just know what I like. But I do know innovation. Herbie was never an imitator. He moved on to create his own unique sound. And he didn’t stop there. He’s still doing it.”

O’Reilly continued, “Herbie’s status as an artist with an international following has allowed him to travel the world, entertaining millions. His overseas exposure has always reflected well on his country, something I also care deeply about. He is a true gentleman. His fame and skill reflect the values that have made America great… hard work… creativity… respect for yourself and others. Herbie Hancock rebelled against the status quo in music; he never rebelled against humanity. It’s that embracing of what is good in mankind that infuses Herbie’s music and makes him a national icon. He says, ‘I realized that if I perceive myself as a musician, somehow there’s an invisible barrier between myself and people who aren’t musicians. But if I define myself as a human being, all the barriers disappear.’ True. Humble. To the point. That’s Herbie Hancock.”

A rousing array of jazz standards opened the performance segment of the evening, beginning with “Walkin’” and “Watermelon Man,” with multiple Grammy Award winner Wayne Shorter on saxophone, multiple Grammy Award-winning pianist Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette on drums, Grammy Award-winning bassist Dave Holland, and multiple Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard on trumpet. This was quickly succeeded by another group of remarkable musicians playing “Cantaloupe Island,” including Grammy Award winner Teri Lyne Carrington on drums, along with jazz musicians Wayne Shorter, James Genus, Aaron Parks, Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Michael Bearden, Vinnie Colaiuta and Lionel Loueke. Then, yet another band of musicians performed “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)” and “Rockit,” including Grammy Award winner Marcus Miller on bass, with Snoop Dogg and DJ Mix Master Mike joining in with a special rap written for the occasion. All of the musicians united together for the upbeat finale of “Chameleon.”

 Continued...