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Jazz great Herbie Hancock named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

08-01-2011 10:52 BJT

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Jazz great Herbie Hancock wants his music, and its universal language, to touch the world in a new way, by building bridges between cultures and promoting literacy. And that's his new mission with his appointment Friday as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

He's a natural for the job.

For Hancock, imbued with boundless energy, curiosity and a cool cat poise, jazz is a "metaphor for freedom, but freedom with discipline."

©UNESCO/Ania Freindorf - Herbie Hancock and UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, at the Organisation's Headquarters in Paris


In his more than half-century career as a musician, Hancock has renewed old favorites with edgy electronic sounds, giving new life to signature pieces like "Watermelon Man."

His "The Imagine Project" album is a multicultural potpourri with 11 countries and seven languages aimed at promoting peace and social responsibility. He founded The International Committee of Artists for Peace.

There have been dozens of Goodwill Ambassadors, celebrities or other noted figures across the world promoting the goals of UNESCO, but Hancock doesn't feel diminished to be a new link in a long chain at one of the U.N.'s lower profile institutions.

US Jazzman Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock, plays the piano during the ceremony for his new role as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, at the UNESCO headquarters, in Paris, Friday, July 22, 2011. - AP Photo


Herbie Hancock said, "It feels like an answer to some of my biggest dreams. To be able to work for an organization that really cares about the people in the world. It really cares about working toward the globalized peaceful world that people actually want to live in."

As Goodwill Ambassador, Hancock wants to take his role beyond jazz to be more than a musical envoy. However, jazz-related projects are already on his plate: creating an International Jazz Day, establishing jazz as an "intangible cultural heritage" of UNESCO and working to get recognition as UNESCO World Heritage sites to New Orleans, the city that gave birth to the Blues.

Editor:Li Wanran |Source: CNTV.CN

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