Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea (12 June 1941, Chelsea, Mass. – 9 February 2021, Tampa Bay, Fla.) was an American jazz pianist/electric keyboardist and composer.
Corea's father, a jazz trumpeter who led a Dixieland band in Boston in the 1930s and 1940s, introduced him to the piano at the age of four. Surrounded by jazz, he was influenced at an early age by bebop and Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Horace Silver, and Lester Young. When he was eight, he took up drums, which would influence his use of the piano as a percussion instrument.
Corea developed his piano skills by exploring music on his own. A notable influence was concert pianist Salvatore Sullo, from whom Corea started taking lessons at age eight and who introduced him to classical music, helping spark his interest in musical composition. He also spent several years as a performer and soloist for the St. Rose Scarlet Lancers, a drum and bugle corps based in Chelsea.
Given a black tuxedo by his father, he started playing gigs when in high school. He enjoyed listening to Herb Pomeroy's band at the time and had a trio that played Horace Silver's music at a local jazz club. He moved to New York City, where he studied musical education for one month at Columbia University and six months at the Juilliard School. He quit after finding both disappointing, but remained in New York City.
Corea began his career in the early 1960s with Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, Blue Mitchell, Herbie Mann, and Stan Getz. He released his debut album, Tones for Joan's Bones, in 1966. Two years later he released a trio album, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, with Roy Haynes and Miroslav Vitous.
In the 1970s Corea started working with vibraphonist Gary Burton, with whom he recorded several duet albums for ECM, including 1972's Crystal Silence. In December 2007 Corea recorded a duet album, The Enchantment, with banjoist Béla Fleck.
Corea's other bands included the Chick Corea Elektric Band, its traditional jazz trio reduction called Akoustic Band, Origin, and its traditional jazz trio reduction called the New Trio.
Works for Winds
- Children's Songs (arr. Buckland) (1971-1980/2014)
- Duet Suite (arr. Carrington) (1978/2018)
- Spain (Brass Quartet) (arr. Agioritis) (1973/1982/)
- Spain (Brass Quintet) (arr. Agioritis) (1973/1982/)
- Spain (Clarinet Choir or Quintet) (arr. Agioritis) (1973/1982/)
- Spain (Clarinet Quartet) (arr. Agioritis) (1973/1982/)
- Spain (Saxophone Quartet) (arr. Agioritis) (1973/1982/)
- Spain (Saxophone Quintet) (arr. Agioritis) (1973/1982/)
- Spain (arr. Marillia) (1973/1982/2004)
- Spain (arr. Murtha) (1973/1982/2017)