The Eastman School of Music will present noted jazz musician Chuck Mangione (BM ’63) with its Alumni Achievement Award. The award will be presented on Sunday evening, May 27 by Eastman’s Interim Dean, Jamal Rossi, in the Eastman Theatre just before the second half of the recreation of Mangione’s famous Friends and Love concert of 1970—the musical event that first brought Mangione national recognition.
Mangione is one of America’s best-known and most successful jazz musicians and a household name as a composer, arranger, flügelhorn player, and bandleader. He led the now legendary Friends and Love concert and recording in 1970, and the following year received a Grammy nomination for the single from that album, “Hill Where the Lord Hides.” Over the following 10 years, Mangione won many more Grammy nods, two Grammy awards, an Emmy, and several gold and platinum records, including Feels So Good, one of the most successful jazz albums ever produced. His albums and singles climbed both the pop and jazz charts. An estimated 90 million people worldwide heard him perform at the closing ceremonies of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. An honorary doctorate from the University of Rochester in 1985 put him in the company of such American musical icons as Aaron Copland, Isaac Stern, and Rudolf Serkin.
At the height of his chart-topping fame, in 1978, Newsweek began its profile of him: “Chuck Mangione makes jazz that sounds the way he looks — ingenious, upbeat, and instantly likeable.” For his own part, Mangione has said, “If you’re honest and play with love, people will sit down and listen … my music is the sum of all I have experienced.”
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