An NEA Jazz Master, 18-time Grammy winner, brilliant American composer and keyboard virtuoso, Chick Corea has attained living legend status after five decades of unparalleled creativity and an artistic output that is simply staggering.
From his 2012 Grammy win for Best Improvised Jazz Solo, through his enormously prolific career, Chick has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his illustrious career – from straight ahead to avant-garde, bebop to fusion, childrenʼs songs to chamber music, along with some far-reaching forays into symphonic works –while maintaining a standard of excellence that is aweinspiring. A tirelessly creative spirit, Chick continues to forge ahead, continually reinventing himself in the process.
Chick began his career with apprenticeships with the likes of Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughan and Miles Davis's band, where he participated in such landmark sessions as In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. Embarking on a solo career in 1966, Chick has been at the forefront of jazz, both as a renowned pianist forging new ground with his acoustic jazz bands and as an innovative electric keyboardist with Return to Forever and the Elektric Band. His extensive discography boasts numerous essential albums, beginning with his 1968 classic, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs.
Chick continues to make a significant impact on the scene, as evidenced by 2007ʼs Grammy-winning The Enchantment (duets with banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck), 2008ʻs Grammy-winning The New Crystal Silence (duets with longstanding collaborator Gary Burton), 2009ʼs Returns (documenting Return to Foreverʼs 2008 reunion tour) and 2009ʼs Grammy-winning Five Peace Band Live (with John McLaughlin, Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett and Vinnie Colaiuta).
Béla Fleck is often considered the premier banjo player in the world. A New York City native, he picked up the banjo at age 15 after being awed by the bluegrass music of Flatt & Scruggs. While still in high school he began experimenting with playing bebop jazz on his banjo. In 1980, he released his first solo album, Crossing the Tracks, with material that ranged from straight ahead bluegrass to Chick Corea’s “Spain.” In 1989 he formed the genre-busting Flecktones, with members equally talented and adventurous as himself.
Throw Down Your Heart, Fleck’s latest album, is his most ambitious project to date. In on-location collaborations with musicians from Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, Mali, South Africa and Madagascar, Béla Fleck explores the African origins of the banjo, the prototype of which was brought to American shores by African slaves.
The recipient of Multiple Grammy Awards going back to 1998, Béla Fleck’s total Grammy count is 14 Grammys won, and 30 nominations. He has been nominated in more different categories than anyone in Grammy history.