Herbie Hancock on Egypt Revolution & Mideast Democracy

Posted February 23rd, 2011 at 7:54 pm (UTC+0)
1 comment

Diaa Bekheet | Washington, DC – Like Egyptians living abroad, American jazz pianist Herbie Hancock was “glued” to television, watching live coverage of Tahrir Square protests demanding the removal of the regime in Egypt.  The world peace advocate praised the peaceful, anti-social injustice protests in Egypt as he attended the Grammy ceremony on February 13; two days after President Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign.

“My sights were glued to the TV watching everything that was happening in Egypt,” Hancock told CBS television. “And it looks like an awful lot of Egyptians are really happy now that Mubarak has stepped down.”

Hancock’s backstage comments on the 18-day Egyptian revolution (Revolt on the Nile) against years of rampant government corruption made Egyptian newspaper headlines.

He said this is going to help shore up a better attitude about democracy in the Middle East.

“I think it is great that people are using peaceful means” for getting a “Peaceful government,” he told the Hollywood Today news magazine. “It’s good for the Middle East and good for the world.”

Other celebrities said they were impressed by the restraint exhibited by the citizens of Egypt who gathered in downtown Cairo.

“It sounds like a tender democracy burgeoning there. Um, best of luck. And it’s–I thought how they handled themselves in the last couple of days was pretty decent,” Singer-songwriter Jewel told CBS.  “I don’t–, I’m sure the whole story isn’t out yet. But I was very proud of the citizens, and it was very inspiring to watch.”

Hancock’s all-star remake of British singer John Lennon’s “Imagine” won a Grammy, beating megahits by superstars Lady Gaga and Beyonce for “Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.”

This is Hancock’s second Grammy, and it’s for “A Change Is Gonna Come,” another track from The Imagine Project, the Best Improvised Jazz Solo winner.

The music legend spoke recently about “The Imagine Project” with VOA’s Russ Davis:

For more on jazz music, listen to VOA’s Jazz America & MoJa Radio
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, VOAnews.com.

One Response to “Herbie Hancock on Egypt Revolution & Mideast Democracy”

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