AKA Armando Anthony Corea
Birthplace: Chelsea, MA
Location of death: Tampa, FL
Cause of death: Cancer - unspecified
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Jazz Musician
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Jazz keyboardist
Born into a musical family, Chick Corea began to study piano at the age of four, while also immersing himself in the recordings of various jazz and classical masters. During his teen years he honed his craft working in a various bands, including one led by his father. A period of study at Columbia and Juilliard was cut short when an opportunity to turn professional was presented by Mongo Santamaria in 1962; several years working with trumpeter Blue Mitchell and a year supporting Sarah Vaughan were to follow.
The breakthrough of Corea's music career came when he became of member of Miles Davis' band in 1968. In his three years with Davis, the keyboardist contributed to such albums as Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way, firmly establishing his reputation in the jazz world. He then moved on to establish his own improv-based band Circle, which endured over the next three years and released three albums.
Around this time, Chick Corea was introduced to L. Ron Hubbard's religious group, The Church of Scientology. Along with fellow Scientologist Stanley Clarke, he formed the band Return to Forever in 1971. Initially oriented in the direction of mellower, latin-flavored jazz, by 1974 a major line-up change had precipitated a switch to electric jazz fusion in the Mahavishnu vein. Clarke left to pursue a solo career in 1976, and shortly afterwards the group was dissolved.
During the 1980's Corea alternated between electric-jazz projects such as The Chick Corea Elektric Band and acoustic piano duets with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Gary Burton, in addition to maintaining a prolific solo and session career. Together with his manager Ron Moss, he founded the label Stretch Records in 1992 to provide an outlet for genre-bending artists; since 1996 it has become the primary outlet for his own music as well. The 90s also witnessed several releases by his latest band, Origin, and a collaboration with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he recorded his Piano Concerto No. 1 in 1999.
Father: Armando Corea (bandleader)
Mother: Anna Zacone
Miles Davis Keyboardist (1968-70)
Return to Forever Keyboardist (1971-76)
Citizens Commission on Human Rights Board of Advisors
NEA Jazz Master 2006
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