Jazz veteran Chick Corea turns 60

Unbridled desire to play continues

In Vienna on July 3

New York, USA
June 9, 2001
Tirol Online Kultur

New York (APA) - Music puts the American jazz pianist Chick Corea in such a trance that after a successful concert he often has his keyboard brought to his hotel room. Then he plays and composes the whole night through. Or he stays on the stage long after everybody else has gone home and enjoys playing a few Mozart concertos on the piano. On Tuesday (12 June) the jazz veteran turns 60.

The New York Times recently wrote, "Mr. Corea is a restless spirit similar to Duke Ellington. He has such a craving to compose and play new music that everything else comes in second." Corea is indeed at home with jazz, but he also gave duo-concerts with Friederich Gulda, who died last year - also a border-crosser, but from classical music. Corea's "Children's Songs" were reminiscent of the children's scenes from Schumann.

Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1941 as Armando Anthony Corea, Chick grew up listening to records from Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan. His father was also a jazz musician. Later he received piano lessons in classical music from Salvatore Sullo, a Boston concert pianist. At 18 the young Chick went to New York and was soon standing on the stage with greats like Blue Mitchell.

In the course of his 40 year career he then practiced with Miles Davis in Free Jazz, and played Bebop and alongside the idols of his childhood, Vaughan, Gillespie and Roy Haynes. Besides that he took a leading part in several of the most sensational Latino jazz recordings in the 1960s. Recently he has been practicing a new instrument, the marimba, experimenting with Hossam Ramzy, the Egyptian drummer, or writing music for his new sextet, Origin.

Corea can be seen on July 3rd in Austria at the Jazz Festival in the Vienna State Opera.

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