Keyboardist, composer, and bandleader Chick Corea has been named The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence for the 2020–21 season. His activities reflect his many talents. As pianist, he performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 — with his own improvised, jazz-inflected cadenzas — led by Jaap van Zweden. As composer, his Trombone Concerto will be premiered with Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi as soloist, also conducted by Maestro van Zweden; this marks the first time a Philharmonic Artist-in-Residence has been commissioned by the Orchestra. He will participate in Philharmonic education activities and perform Chick and Friends, a collaborative concert featuring guest artists and Philharmonic musicians.
Chick Corea has attained iconic status in music. He is a DownBeat Hall of Famer and NEA Jazz Master, as well as the fourth-most nominated artist in Grammy Awards history — with 63 nods and 22 wins, in addition to a number of Latin Grammys. From straight-ahead to avant-garde, bebop to jazz-rock fusion, children’s songs to chamber and symphonic works, Mr. Corea has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his career since playing with the genre-shattering bands of Miles Davis in the late 1960s and early ’70s.
Born in 1941 in Massachusetts, Mr. Corea remains a tireless creative spirit, continually reinventing himself through his art. Yet he has never been more productive than in the 21st century, whether playing acoustic piano or electric keyboards, leading multiple bands, performing solo, or collaborating with a who’s who of music. He has been named Artist of the Year in the DownBeat Readers Poll five times in the last ten years. As The New York Times said, he is “a luminary, ebullient and eternally youthful.”
Mr. Corea’s classic albums as a leader or co-leader include Now He Sings, Now He Sobs; Return to Forever; Crystal Silence; and My Spanish Heart. His new Spanish Heart Band revisits that last, a legendary album celebrating his lifelong love of Latin music with an eight-piece ensemble featuring musicians from the great Paco de Lucia’s band. The ensemble’s new studio album, Antidote, was released to universal acclaim on Concord Records in 2019. His latest album, Trilogy 2, reconvenes his trio with McBride and Blade for a thrilling set of Corea classics, brilliant standards, and new takes on tunes from Joe Henderson, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and Stevie Wonder.