Herbie Hancock delivered an unforgettable performance at the Barbican Hall on July 28, 2023. Playing two nights in a row, the legendary jazz musician captured the hearts of the audience with his impeccable talent and charming personality.
A Lineup of Stellar Musicians
Hancock was joined on stage by a remarkable ensemble of musicians, including James Genus on bass, Jaylen Petinaud on drums, Lionel Loueke on guitar and voice, and Terence Blanchard on trumpet. This diverse group featured a mix of generations, nations, and talents, creating a unique blend of styles and sounds.
The Concert Begins
From the moment Hancock stepped on stage, he had the audience’s full attention. He playfully warned them that things might “start a little weird” before launching into an intriguing overture featuring Loueke’s singing and guitar playing. The performance was far from weird, showcasing the creativity and skill of each musician on stage.
A Satisfying Selection of Music
The concert progressed with a series of crowd-pleasing tunes, including a rendition of “Footprints” as a tribute to Hancock’s friend and colleague, Wayne Shorter. The audience was also treated to “Actual Proof” from the 1974 album Thrust, allowing Petinaud to demonstrate his incredible drumming skills.
Hancock continued to delight the crowd with a performance of “Come Running to Me” from the album Sunlight, using a vocoder device to translate his words through his keyboard. He playfully addressed the audience through the vocoder and delivered a heartfelt speech about humanity and the importance of treating one another with respect.
Showcasing Individual Talents
Each musician had a chance to shine during the concert. Genus impressed with an improvised solo on his 5-string bass using a loop pedal. And, as if the night couldn’t get any better, Hancock brought out his keytar, joining the rest of the band to “rock out” on “Secret Sauce” and finishing with the fan-favorite “Headhunters Chameleon.”
Standing Ovations and a Superstar Finish
Herbie Hancock received several standing ovations during the night, gracefully thanking the audience for their warm reception. At 83 years young, he ended the evening like a true superstar, performing a keytar-carrying-star-jump to conclude the final note.