Page last updated at 10:21 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 11:21 UK

LA Philharmonic role for Hancock

Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock won two Grammys in 2008

Grammy-winning pianist and composer Herbie Hancock has been named as the new creative chair for jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra.

The 69-year-old will begin his two-year stint in 2010, taking over from bassist Christian McBride.

"I'm interested in cross-pollination of music of various cultures," he said.

Hancock is currently working on a "global collaboration" album featuring artists including Tracy Chapman and African singer Oumou Sangare.

"I would like to see more interaction between visuals and music," Hancock said.

"Ballet or some sort of pop-oriented kind of dance interacting with jazz, visuals done with computer graphics or film segments with jazz, or a mixture of jazz and other genres."

Mentoring artists

As part of his new role, Hancock will oversee jazz programming for the city's Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.

What I think about now is purpose. I didn't think about purpose years ago, it was 'write this tune'
Herbie Hancock

He will also help to hire musicians and mentor young artists.

In 2008, he won Grammys for album of the year and best contemporary jazz album for River: The Joni Letters, a tribute to his friend Joni Mitchell.

He said the way he approached making music had changed over the years.

"What I think about now is purpose," he said.

"I didn't think about purpose years ago, it was 'write this tune'.

"Now I think about what do people need, what does humanity need, what can I do to help in my way?"

Hancock said that, with his new album, he did not want to "lock myself into a box, a comfort zone".

"I want to spread this out throughout the globe and make a record not just for American audiences," he added.

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