The pianist, who turns 70 on April 12, will be joined by comedian Bill Cosby, saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, Hancock’s bandmate in Miles Davis’ famed 1960s quintet, with more guests to be announced.
The June 24 concert, “Herbie Hancock, Seven Decades: The Birthday Celebration,” will benefit The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
“That will be a very exciting night — perhaps one of the unique nights in the history of the festival with a lot of people coming just to salute Herbie,” the festival’s producer, George Wein, told the Associated Press Friday.
The concert will be followed by a festival first — an old-time midnight jam session paying tribute to Hancock — at the City Winery nightclub.
The CareFusion Jazz Festival will run from June 17 to 26 with some 45 concerts at 20 venues, including concert halls, parks, museums and libraries in four boroughs. Carnegie Hall will be the site of three other high-profile concerts featuring trumpeter Chris Botti, Brazilian bossa nova maestro Joao Gilberto, and the trio of pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette.
There will also be several free outdoor concerts, with Latin jazz star Eddie Palmieri performing in a Bronx park and pianist McCoy Tyner’s quartet featuring saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and the Stanley Clarke Band with Japanese pianist Hiromi playing at Central Park’s SummerStage.
The festival is paying the musicians and letting the clubs collect the gate, asking only that ticket prices be kept at a recession-friendly $15 for most events.
“It’s helping the clubs and the musicians,” said Wein. “Its our own stimulus program.”