Eastman School of Music Honors Gadd and Corea

Mike Lawson • News • October 13, 2017

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The University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music will award Honorary Doctor of Music degrees to drummer Steve Gadd (BM ’68) and to jazz keyboardist and composer Chick Corea on October 13 at their performance at Kodak Hall.

President Joel Seligman and Joan and Martin Messinger Dean, Jamal Rossi, will present the honorary degrees.

Gadd worked on both Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover and Steely Dan’s Aja, and has also collaborated with artists like James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Lee Ritenour, the Bee Gees, Al Di Meola, and Chick Corea.

“Every drummer wants to play like Gadd because he plays perfectly,” Corea said of Gadd. “He has brought orchestral and compositional thinking to the drum kit while at the same time having a great imagination and a great ability to swing.”

Corea has also been nominated for 63 Grammy Awards, winning 22, and has been awarded a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Masters Award. Just last year, he celebrated his 75th birthday in by playing with more than 20 different groups at the Blue Note.

“Chick Corea is one of the most influential musicians of his generation, and Steve Gadd is one of Eastman’s most distinguished alumni,” said Dean Jamal Rossi.  “We are thrilled that both of them will join the ranks of other world-renowned musicians who hold the honorary doctorate from Eastman.”

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