Herbie Hancock Reunites Original Head Hunters Band for 50th Anniversary Concert

Herbie Hancock: Head Hunters

Most of the music from Herbie Hancock’s career can be described as influential, but for bassists, the Head Hunters album may take the cake. It’s been sampled countless times, and bassists have played the lines to “Chameleon” and “Watermelon Man” since its release 50 years ago.

After the album’s release, Hancock’s backing band, the Headhunters, continued on and dove deeper into the fusion of jazz and funk. The group played with and without Hancock and had their own lineup changes. Now, the keyboardist has announced a concert that’s being called the first performance from the original Head Hunters since 1973.

The band will perform at the Hollywood Bowl on August 14th for a belated 50th anniversary album celebrating that original album. Its lineup will include Hancock, drummer Harvey Mason (who left shortly after the album’s release), percussionist Bill Summers, and saxophonist Bennie Maupin.

Sadly, original Headhunters bassist Paul Jackson passed away in 2021. In his stead, however, will be a powerhouse and longtime collaborator of Hancock’s: Marcus Miller. It won’t be Miller’s first time filling in as he performed with Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters in 2005.

Hancock says it will be the band’s only appearance, so superfans had better get their tickets now. The concert will be held August 14th at the Hollywood Bowl. More information can be found on Hancock’s website.

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  1. Gayla White

    In 1973 my brother played football at Geneva a small western Pennsylvania college. I went to Pitt during the Tony Dorsett/ Coach Johnny Major era and looked forward to our home games and fanfare, but my mom insisted that I drive her two hours north through Amish country and cow pasture to Westminster College.
    No pregame fanfare. No Marching band, etc.

    After halftime, I was checking for a radio station broadcast to see how Pitt was doing…When the school’s pep band stood up in the stands and the brass section section blared out 5 familiar phrased notes.

    I yelled Chameleon. And the band continued with the whole song for the 15 minute halftime. It was GREAT!!

    Herbie Hancock was a pure genius and to think a small town college recognized it and “threw down”.