LOS ANGELES, July 18, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- The International Committee of Artists for Peace (ICAP) today announced that renowned American jazz musicians Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter will be among the headline musicians traveling to Japan with Carlos Santana for the Emissaries for Peace Concert Tour.

The concert tour, which will run from July 27 to August 2, 2005, will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the World War II atomic bombing of Japan. Concerts will be performed at the Yokohama Arena, Nagasaki Brick Hall, Osaka Festival Hall and finally at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

"At this particular time, I'm especially excited about making a presentation for peace along with two dear friends of mine - Carlos Santana and Wayne Shorter -- who have the same passion for spreading the human spirit of peace and happiness," said Herbie Hancock. "I look forward to the opportunity to bring the magic of creativity through the contact of one human heart to another."

"In 2002, an ICAP group performed in Hiroshima and the city's mayor gave them all seed from a tree that had survived the atomic blast of WWII to plant the symbolic 'seeds of peace' when they all returned to their homes," said Patrick Duffy, vice president of ICAP. "Since then, we have been pleased to welcomed Carlos Santana and his life-long dream for peace into the expanding ICAP family of artists. This year's Emissaries for Peace Concert Tour will mark the start of Carlos' dream of wrapping the globe with a music tour that will hopefully awaken in everyone a passion and commitment to work for mankind's betterment."

Founded by Soka Gakkai International - USA Buddhist artists, ICAP's mission is to promote world peace through the arts and is a coalition of co-sponsors of the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2000-2010). Soka Gakkai International members of the organization include Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Patrick Duffy

Founded in 1960, Soka Gakkai International-USA is an American Buddhist denomination that promotes individual happiness and world peace through the practical application of Nichiren Buddhist principles. As lay believers and engaged Buddhists, Soka Gakkai International's 12 million members worldwide strive to improve their lives by living with confidence, creating value and contributing to the well-being of their friends, families and communities.

Soka Gakkai International-USA has more than 90 centers located throughout United States. For more information about Soka Gakkai International-USA, go to its website at www.sgi-usa.org.

Herbie Hancock Biography

Herbie Hancock is a true icon of modern music. His explorations have transcended limitations and genres, and at the same time he has maintained his unmistakable voice. Hancock's success at expanding the possibilities of musical thought has placed him in the annals of this century's visionaries. What's more, he continues to amaze and expand the public's vision of what music is all about today.

Herbie Hancock's creative path has moved fluidly between almost every development in acoustic and electronic jazz and R&B since 1960. He has attained an enviable balance of commercial and artistic success, arriving at the point in his career where he ventures into every new project motivated purely by the desire to expand the boundaries of his creativity.

No stranger to career accolades, Herbie won the 1987 Academy Award for his soundtrack to the film, Round Midnight. He has won eight Grammy Awards in the past two decades, including three for his 1998 classic, Gershwin's World. Underlying these and countless other awards is the fact that there are few artists in the entire music industry who have gained more respect and cast more influence than Herbie Hancock. As the immortal Miles Davis said in his autobiography: "Herbie was the step after Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, and I haven't heard anybody yet who has come after him."

Born in Chicago in 1940, Hancock was a child piano prodigy who performed a Mozart piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the tender age of 11. He began playing jazz in high school, initially influenced by Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans. Also at this time, an additional passion for electronic science began to develop. As a result, he took a double major in music and electrical engineering at Grinnell College.

In 1960, at age 20, Herbie was discovered by trumpeter Donald Byrd, who asked him to join his group. Byrd also introduced Hancock to Alfred Lion of Blue Note Records and after two years of session work with the likes of Phil Woods and Oliver Nelson, he signed to the legendary label as a solo artist. His 1963 debut album, Takin' Off, was an immediate success, producing "Watermelon Man," an instant hit at jazz and R&B radio. Also in 1963, Hancock received the call that was to change his life and fix his place in jazz history. He was invited to join the Miles Davis Quintet. During his five years, with Davis, Hancock and his colleagues thrilled audiences and recorded classic after classic, including albums like ESP, Nefertiti, and Sorcerer. Most jazz critics and fans regard this group, which also included Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Ron Carter (bass), and Tony Williams (drums) as the greatest small jazz group of the 1960s. Even after he left, Miles' group, Herbie continued to appear on Davis' groundbreaking recordings, In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, which heralded the birth of jazz-fusion.

Hancock's career outside the performing stage and recording studio has continued apace. In 1996, he founded the Rhythm Of Life Foundation. This organization's mission is twofold: to help narrow the gap between those technologically empowered and those who are not; and to find ways to help technology improve humanity. The philosophy of the foundation is based on the communication of multi-cultural awareness and tolerance among communities, instilling a sense of courage and creative initiative in children, and educating one another about our rich and complex ethnic heritage.

Hancock also holds several prominent artistic and cultural appointments. Since 1991, he has been the Distinguished Artist in Residence at Jazz Aspen Snowmass in Colorado, a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation and performance of jazz and American music.

Herbie also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the foremost international organization devoted to the development of jazz performance and education worldwide. He has taken on a number of roles on behalf of the institute, from competition judge to master class teacher, to guest performer with the Institute's prestigious college program.

As he enters his fifth decade of professional life, Herbie Hancock remains where he has always been: in the forefront of world culture, technology, business and music. Though one can't track exactly where he will go next, you may be sure that he'll leave his own inimitable creative style and imprint wherever he lands.

Wayne Shorter Biography

Wayne Shorter - tenor & soprano saxophones

A brilliant instrumentalist at the forefront of the generation of tenor saxophone modernists that emerged after John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter is also the composer of "Speak No Evil," "Infant Eyes," "Witch Hunt," "Penelope," "Adams Apple," "Footprints" and other sophisticated songs that have become jazz standards. The classic albums, Ju Ju, Speak No Evil, The Soothsayer, Etcetera, Schizophrenia and Adams Apple, are among the memorable titles he released as a leader on Blue Note from 1964-70 and they trace his transformation from a driving hard bopper to a master of modal jazz. Shorter made his Blue Note debut with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers on Africaine and appears on several other of the drummer's recordings including The Jazz Corner of the World, Mosaic, Buhaina's Delight and Free For All. He also played on Blue Note albums by Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Lou Donaldson, McCoy Tyner and Grachan Moncur III.

Born in Newark, N.J., Shorter studied clarinet before switching to the tenor saxophone and by the time he graduated from the local High School of Music and Art was a familiar face on the New York jazz scene across the Hudson known as "the kid from Newark."

A precocious teenager whose playing belied his age, he sat in with Sonny Stitt, Max Roach, Horace Silver, Jackie McLean, Kenny Clarke and Oscar Pettiford and was befriended by Coltrane. Shorter received a music degree from NYU before serving in the Army and toured with Maynard Ferguson's big band in 1959. He attracted international attention with the Jazz Messengers and was an integral part of the 1960-61 quintet that Blakey led with Lee Morgan and Bobby Timmons and the drummer's 1961-64 sextet with Freddie Hubbard, Curtis Fuller and Cedar Walton. Shorter had an historic year in 1964 when he signed with Blue Note, recorded Night Dreamer, Ju Ju and Speak No Evil between April and December. On Coltrane's recommendation, Shorter left Blakey to join three other Blue Note mainstays, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, in forming Miles Davis's influential "second quintet." At the end of his Blue Note tenure, Shorter released Super Nova, his first recording on soprano saxophone which features electric guitarists John McLaughlin and Sonny Sharrock, and Odyssey Of Iska. These pioneering forays into jazz-rock fusion heralded the adventurous sounds the saxophonist would create during the 1970s as co-founder of the extraordinary fusion band Weather Report.

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