The University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music will award honorary doctor of music degrees to drummer Steve Gadd and jazz keyboardist and composer Chick Corea at a performance here Friday.
A Rochester native and 1968 Eastman School graduate, Gadd is among the most popular and widely recorded drummers in the world. Gadd worked on Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and Steely Dan’s “Aja,” and has worked with James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker and the Bee Gees, among others.
“Every drummer wants to play like Gadd because he plays perfectly,” Corea said in a statement. “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 is a pioneer of jazz-fusion and he has worked in a number of different musical styles including Latin jazz, avant-garde, rock and funk. He has been nominated for 63 Grammy Awards and won 22, and earned a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Chick Corea is one of the most influential musicians of his generation, and Steve Gadd is one of Eastman’s most distinguished alumni,” Eastman School dean Jamal Rossi said. “We are thrilled that both of them will join the ranks of other world-renowned musicians who hold the honorary doctorate from Eastman.”
Gadd and Corea will perform at Kodak Hall Oct. 13, where UR President Joel Seligman will present the honorary degrees.
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