Imagine in Jazz

Posted January 31st, 2011 at 8:14 pm (UTC+0)
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Diaa Bekheet | Washington, DC – Herbie Hancock is one of my favorite nominees in the jazz category, for upcoming Grammy Awards on February 13.  The American pianist, bandleader and composer’s new album is called “Imagine” and is linked to his unprecedented international recording and film project called the Imagine Project. It was largely self-financed.

What I love about Imagine is that it is unique and features an amazing array of music superstars from every region of the planet, including India Arie, Jeff Beck, Pink, Seal, Omou Sangare and others. The project bears the same name as the famous Beatles song “Imagine” – penned by the late John Lennon.  He was killed outside his New York apartment in 1980.

Hancock tells VOA he believes that “one of the main points of life is try to make everything work no matter what comes your way, try to figure out how to make it work. To make your life work means ultimately doing it moment to moment … and not make it work in the best way, not just for yourself but for the world you live in.”

Herbie Hancock became the second jazz musician of all time to win the Best Album of the Year prize in 2008, at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. He won the award for his album, “River: the Joni Letters”, a tribute to Canadian musician and songwriter Joni Mitchell. She is a longtime associate and friend of Hancock.

When “River: The Joni Letters” was nominated for Album of the Year, Hancock’s first reaction was disbelief.  “I was shocked,” he says, “but jazz is out there. It’s alive and manifests itself in a lot of different ways.”

The 53rd Annual Grammy Award winners will be announced on February 13, 2011. Here’s a full list of the Grammy nominees.

For more information on jazz music, listen to VOA’s Jazz America show.

Diaa Bekheet

Diaa Bekheet
Diaa Bekheet has worked for a host of media outlets, including Radio Cairo in English, ETV News, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) and the Associated Press. He joined VOA in Feb. 1989 as an International Broadcaster, hosting a variety of popular news and entertainment shows such as Newshour, Radio Ride Across America, Business Week, and Jazz Club USA. He has interviewed a number of Jazz celebrities, including the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, Ramsey Lewis, Wayne Shorter, and George Benson. Diaa is currently an editor for our main English site,

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