"Armando's Rhumba" from the series LEGENDS OF JAZZ with Ramsey Lewis.
Renowned Pianist-Composer Chick Corea
A prolific explorer of jazz and classical music; 2010 DownBeat Artist of the Year
A DownBeat Hall of Famer and NEA Jazz Master, 20-time Grammy winner, and undisputed keyboard virtuoso, Chick Corea has attained living legend status after four decades of unparalleled creativity and an artistic output that is simply staggering.
Chick is the fourth-most-nominated artist in the history of the Grammys, with 61 nominations. He's also earned 3 Latin Grammy Awards, the most of any artist in the Best Instrumental Album category.
From straight ahead to avant-garde, bebop to fusion, children's songs to chamber music, along with some far-reaching forays into symphonic works, Chick has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his illustrious career while maintaining a standard of excellence that is awe-inspiring. A tirelessly creative spirit, Chick continues to forge ahead, continually reinventing himself in the process.
Innovator and Pioneer
The ambitious scope of Chick's music
Since 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.
Corea says that Scientology has helped deepen his relationships with others, and helped him find a renewed path. Under the "special thanks" notes in all of his later albums, Corea mentions that L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, has been a continual source of inspiration. In 1968 Corea discovered Dianetics, Hubbard's principal work, and in the early 1970s developed an interest in Hubbard's science fiction novels. The two exchanged letters until Hubbard's death in 1986, and Corea had three guest appearances on Hubbard's 1982 album Space Jazz: The Soundtrack of the Book Battlefield Earth, noting, "[Hubbard] was a great composer and keyboard player as well. He did many, many things. He was a true Renaissance Man."
Corea said that Scientology became a profound influence on his musical direction in the early 1970s:
I no longer wanted to satisfy myself. I really want to connect with the world and make my music mean something to people.
Due to Corea's religious affiliation, he was banned from performing in a concert in Stuttgart, Germany, on August 15, 1993. Members of the U.S. Congress sent letters to the German government concerning a violation of basic human rights that are upheld by the German Constitution. The ban was not upheld, and in later years Corea performed in festivals in Germany, including several times at the government-supported International Jazz Festival in Burghausen where he was awarded a plaque in Burghausen's "Street of Fame" in 2011.
In 1998, Corea and fellow entertainers Anne Archer, Isaac Hayes, and Haywood Nelson attended the 30th anniversary of Freedom magazine, the Church of Scientology's investigative news journal, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to honor 11 human rights activists.