I am not fundamentally a musician, I am fundamentally a human being.

It's not exclusive, but inclusive, which is the whole spirit of jazz.

In the past, there's always been one leader that has led the pack to development of the music.

It's not the style that motivates me, as much as an attitude of openness that I have when I go into a project.

When the suggestion was made that I might consider doing music of Joni Mitchell, I thought it was a fantastic idea. Joni, I admire not only for her music but for her person, because she's a person that really stands out for what she believes in.

In World War II, jazz absolutely was the music of freedom, and then in the Cold War, behind the Iron Curtain, same thing. It was all underground, but they needed the food of freedom that jazz offered.

My father was really good with math. It's a funny thing, I don't remember my father or my mother being so mechanical-minded. My father always wanted to be a doctor, but he came from a really poor family in Georgia, and there was no way he was going to be a doctor.

One thing that sticks in my mind is that jazz means freedom and openness. It's a music that, although it developed out of the African American experience, speaks more about the human experience than the experience of a particular people.

I'm always looking to create new avenues or new visions of music.

My first Grammy wasn't even in a jazz category, but of course I was really excited. 'Rockit' was the beginning of kind of a new era for the whole hip-hop movement.

You make different colors by combining those colors that already exist.

Being vulnerable is allowing yourself to trust. That's hard for a lot of people to do. They feel a lot more secure if they kind of put walls around themselves. Then they don't have to trust anybody but themselves.

All you have to do is play one note. But it needs to be the right note.

I hope to use dialogue and culture as a means of bringing people of various cultures together, and using that as a way to resolve conflict.

Being a musician is what I do, but it's not what I am.

I try to practice with my life.

But, the truth is that everyone is somebody already.

It pulled me like a magnet, jazz did, because it was a way that I could express myself.

Getting the Oscar had the biggest impression on me.

When I was in my early teens, I remember coming to the conclusion that your life never ends.

Without wisdom, the future has no meaning, no valuable purpose.

It is people's hearts that move the age.

One of the greatest experiences I ever had was listening to a conversation with Joni Mitchell and Wayne Shorter. Just to hear them talking, my mouth was open. They understand each other perfectly, and they make these leaps and jumps because they don't have to explain anything.

One thing I like about jazz is that it emphasized doing things differently from what other people were doing.

It's part of life to have obstacles. It's about overcoming obstacles; that's the key to happiness.

Buddhism has turned me on to my humanness, and is challenging my humanness so that I can become more human.

I feel a lot more secure about the directions I take, than I might have, had I not practiced Buddhism.

The strongest thing that any human being has going is their own integrity and their own heart. As soon as you start veering away from that, the solidity that you need in order to be able to stand up for what you believe in and deliver what's really inside, it's just not going to be there.

The value of music is not dazzling yourself and others with technique.

I started off with classical music, and I got into jazz when I was about 14 years old. And I've been playing jazz ever since.

Creativity and artistic endeavors have a mission that goes far beyond just making music for the sake of music.

I just express myself in any way I feel is appropriate at the moment.

Music is the tool to express life – and all that makes a difference.

I've had a life that has taken many interesting paths. I've learned a lot from mentors who were instrumental in shaping me, and I want to share what I've learned.

Jazz has borrowed from other genres of music and also has lent itself to other genres of music.

Hip-hop is all over the planet.

Clare Fischer was a major influence on my harmonic concept. He and Bill Evans, and Ravel and Gil Evans, finally. You know, that's where it really came from. Almost all of the harmony that I play can be traced to one of those four people and whoever their influences were.

Since time is a continuum, the moment is always different, so the music is always different.

Globalization means we have to re-examine some of our ideas, and look at ideas from other countries, from other cultures, and open ourselves to them. And that's not comfortable for the average person.

To my wife, I'm not Herbie Hancock the musician. I'm her husband. When I'm talking to a neighbor, I'm a neighbor. When I vote, I'm a citizen.

You can practice to attain knowledge, but you can't practice to attain wisdom.

Miles' sessions were not typical of anybody else's sessions. They were totally unique.

The cool thing is that jazz is really a wonderful example of the great characteristics of Buddhism and great characteristics of the human spirit. Because in jazz we share, we listen to each other, we respect each other, we are creating in the moment. At our best, we're non-judgmental.

I think people have learned that Herbie Hancock can be defined as someone that you won't be able to figure out what he's going to do next. The sky is the limit as far as I'm concerned.

Jazz is about being in the moment.

I got a chance to work with Miles Davis, and that changed everything for me, 'cause Miles really encouraged all his musicians to reach beyond what they know, go into unknown territory and explore. It's made a difference to me and the decisions that I've made over the years about how to approach a project in this music.

I don't view myself as a musician anymore - I view myself as a human being that functions as a musician when I'm functioning as a musician, but that's not 24 hours a day. That's really opened me up to even more perspectives because now I look at music, not from the standpoint of being a musician, but from the standpoint of being a human being.

My hope is that the music will serve as a metaphor for the actions taken by the inhabitants of this wonderful planet as a call for world harmony on all levels.

The thing that we possess, that machines don't, is the ability to exhibit wisdom.