“My original idea for my next segment was to link two of my passions, jazz and hip-hop,” Herbie Hancock announced during a recent performance at the White House in honor of International Jazz Day. “These improvisational art forms changed the course of music history and continue to impact culture around the world."
But recent events caused him to change the agenda. "Last week, we lost a legend," Hancock explained. "An icon. The son of a jazz pianist whose music inspired a new generation of artists to create without boundaries. Courageous, playful, wise, brilliant, and a feast for the eyes and the ears, Prince epitomized the word music. Tonight we celebrate his incredible virtuosity and pay tribute to [a] legacy that spans every musical genre."
Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, and more joined Hancock to work through Prince classics like “1999” and “When Doves Cry.” Around the 1:14 mark, Aretha Franklin emerges to sing a few bars of “Purple Rain.” Watch here.