CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
(NOTE TO EDITORS: High-quality digital images of Herbie Hancock and
the Headhunters are available for downloading through the Verve Records
site on the World Wide Web: http://www.verveinteractive.com)
Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters bring classic jazz-funk fusion
to UI Oct. 12
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters will bring their
classic jazz-funk fusion to the University of Iowa, as Hancher Auditorium
and SCOPE present them in concert at
8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12 in Hancher. The band is touring in support of
their new CD, "Return of the Headhunters," the first Headhunters
recording in more than 20 years.
Keyboardist Hancock, who is an alumnus of Grinnell College in electrical
engineering, has negotiated one of the most successful "crossover"
careers in contemporary music. He was a sideman to trumpeter Donald Byrd
and saxophone legends Coleman Hawkins, Phil Woods and Oliver Nelson before
scoring his first Top Ten hit, "Watermelon Man."
He came to wider prominence as a member of Miles Davis' influential
mid-'60s quintet with Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams and Ron Carter, and
while continuing to release his own mainstream acoustic recordings he remained
with Davis through the first stirrings of electro-jazz fusion.
While Davis is regarded as one of the founding fathers of fusion, it
was Hancock who set the landmark for the genre's popularity. "I was
interested in a more fun kind of approach to combining funk and jazz,"
he explains. "Miles was very serious and very mysterious -- dark.
I needed something more earthy, more fun."
His group Mwandishi experimented with combinations of acoustic instruments,
African percussion and electronics in a series of acclaimed recordings.
But his '70s high-water mark was the 1973 debut recording by his Headhunters
band -- featuring Benny Maupin on reeds, Paul Jackson on bass, Mike Clark
on drums and Bill Summers playing a variety of percussion -- which became
the first jazz album in history to go gold and was the source of the hit
The album cover made the band's musical intentions clear by depicting
Hancock wearing a hybrid of a traditional African mask and an electronic
vu-meter (an image that is revived on the new CD).
The Headhunters went on to record three additional best-selling albums
before the members went their separate ways.
Over the years Hancock's danceable pop music has incorporated contemporary
elements from hip-hop and techno to acid jazz and progressive dance --
many of which were inspired, to some degree, by the vintage sound and funky
beat of the Headhunters. His music bridged effortlessly into the MTV era,
and his single "Rockit" even won a MTV Music Video award.
While riding the sort of pop fame that lands artists on "Sesame
Street," "The Muppets," cable specials and other mass-media
showcases, Hancock has always kept his "serious" jazz career
in motion. He recorded and toured in acoustic duos with Chick Corea, he
spearheaded the VSOP projects that evoked the post-bop Miles Davis music
of the '60s, he composed music for films, and he recently released a CD
tribute to Gershwin. His acoustic "1+1" recording with Wayne
Shorter was one of the most critically acclaimed jazz recordings of 1997.
In all, Hancock has collected six Grammy Awards, an Oscar and countless
music-magazine poll honors.
Although Hancock has worked with members of the Headhunters in recording
projects, and they had worked with each other in various combinations,
"Return of the Headhunters" is the first full re-union of the
original band, and the inaugural release of Hancock Records, produced through
The new CD faithfully re-creates much of the original Headhunters sound,
right down to the almost-antique sounds of the Fender Rhodes electric piano
and the primitive synthesizer ("Headhunters" was the first recording
on which Hancock used a synthesizer), while adding a variety of contemporary
touches and pumping up the depth and impact of the sound with the advantages
of contemporary recording technology.
To learn more about Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, visit the Verve
Records site on the World Wide Web: http://www.verveinteractive.com
Tickets are $24 ($19.20 for senior citizens and $16 for UI students
and youth). Tickets may be purchased in advance from the Hancher Auditorium
box office or the University Box Office in the Iowa Memorial Union.
Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.
to 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling
area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and
western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders
may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may
charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff
may select the option of payroll deduction.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services
should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office
personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair
access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is
equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
The University Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through
Saturday and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Dial (319) 335-3041 At the University
Box Office up to six tickets may be charged on a UI student or staff ID.
Purchases may be charged to VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express,
but the University Box Office does not accept checks.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr/
on the World Wide Web.