Armando Anthony 'Chick' Corea (born June 12, 1941) is an Americanjazzpianist/keyboardist and composer who is arguably best known for his work during the 1970s in the genre of jazz fusion, although his contributions to straight-ahead jazz have been tremendous. He participated in the birth of the electric fusion movement as a member of Miles Davis's band in the 1960s, and in the 1970s formed Return to Forever. He continued to pursue other collaborations and explore various musical styles throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Among jazz pianists, Corea is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential to arrive after the emergence of Bill Evans (along with Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner and Keith Jarrett). He is also known for promoting Scientology.
Corea discovered the work of author and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in 1968, first becoming familiar with Dianetics but in the 1970s also developing an interest in his science fiction novels. Corea has mentioned Hubbard as a continual source of inspiration under the 'special thanks' notes in all of his later albums. The two had personal contact; they exchanged letters until Hubbard's death in 1986, and Corea even did some work on music Hubbard had written, noting 'He was a great composer and keyboard player as well. He did many, many things; he was a true Renaissance Man.'
Scientology became a profound influence on Corea's musical direction in the early 1970s, causing him to break up Circle and form Return to Forever. He described his change of motivation:
I no longer wanted to satisfy myself. I really want to connect with the world and make my music mean something to people. (Down Beat, October 21, 1976, p.47)
In a 2004 interview with BET Jazz, when asked how Scientology had influenced his artistry, he replied:
To me, Scientology is the very thing that artists need, in the sense that it's not a religion that you have to change the way that you pray or think about the Creator. What's incredible about Scientology is that this is the first time there's been a real technology on human relationships. To me, that's what's missing in the world. Like most of us, I grew up in a mechanical world. And when I got into music, it was mechanical in the sense of choosing notes and chords. Missing were the humanities. What ever happened to how you really live? How you feel? How you relate to people? How you reach out and help someone? I think that's one of the most basic, natural tendencies all people have—to help. Scientology gives you the necessary tools to be successful at helping someone.
Corea created some of his Return to Forever compositions in collaboration with Neville Potter, a friend whom he had met through Scientology. Some of the other members of Return to Forever also took Scientology courses, and the name Return to Forever itself was, in Corea's words, 'definitely influenced by the Hubbard's philosophy of the spirit. ... It sort of nailed the spiritual intent of the music. that it should be pure.'
Not all musicians he has collaborated with have been content with his views. Reportedly, Joe Farrell once told him: 'Hey, man. Don't lay that Scientology shit on me.' Although Corea has stated that he requires 'a certain amount of ethics' from anybody he works with, he has also expressed the belief:
The values that Scientology states are universal values. Values that any good mother or father or friend couldn't possibly disagree with. They're the values of health and improvement. It's not a belief system where you have to sign up and believe something particularly.
Many of his songs contain explicit references to Scientology and various works by Hubbard. For example, 'What Games Shall We Play Today?' refers to the philosophy in Scientology that life consists of 'games' in which the objective is to extract joy. His 2004 album To the Stars is a tone poem based on Hubbard's science fiction novel of the same name.
Over the years, he has been nominated for 45 Grammy Awards out of which he has won 12:
Children's Songs (20 Pieces for Keyboard). By Chick Corea. For solo piano (or keyboard). Schott. 20th Century and Jazz Fusion. SMP Level 8 (Early Advanced). Collection. Standard notation and introductory text (does not include words to the songs). 56 pages. Schott Music #
Chick Corea Collection "By Chick Corea. For piano. Personality. Jazz. Difficulty: medium. Instrumental solo songbook. Piano score, introductory text and performance notes. 120 pages. Published by Hal Leonard"
Solos for Jazz Piano By Chick Corea Bud Powell. Edited by Ronny S. Schiff. Arranged by Art Tatum Ahmad Jamal. Piano. For Piano Solo. SMP Level 8 (Early Advanced). Solo part. Standard notation. 63 pages. Published by Carl Fischer
Schott's 20th Century Piano Classics (54 Pieces from JanÝŠcek to Chick Corea). By Various. Arranged by Fritz Emonts and Rainer Mohrs. Piano. Schott. Book only. 132 pages. Schott Music #ED9565. Published by Schott Music
Spain - Conductor Score (Full Score) "By Al Jarreau, Chick Corea, Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999), and Artie Maren. Arranged by Paul Jennings. Jazz band. Jazz; Latin. Jazz Band. 10 pages. Published by Hal Leonard - Digital Sheet Music"
Paint The World By Chick Corea. For solo piano. Hal Leonard Artist Transcriptions. Jazz Fusion and Jazz. Difficulty: medium-difficult. Collection. Introductory text and chord names (does not include words to the songs). 40 pages. Published by Hal Leonard
Spain - Piano "By Al Jarreau, Chick Corea, Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999), and Artie Maren. Arranged by Paul Jennings. Jazz band. For Piano. Jazz; Latin. Jazz Band. 6 pages. Published by Hal Leonard - Digital Sheet Music"
Chick Corea -- Keyboard Workshop "(Methods of Composition, Improvisation, and Practice). By Chick Corea. For Keyboard; Piano. Keyboard/Piano DVD; Method/Instruction. Warner Bros. Classics. DVD. 1 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing"