NMF: Bruce Hornsby

Bruce Hornsby Live at Conan

Bruce Hornsby Live in London

In the process of winning three Grammy’s and selling more than eleven million albums, Bruce Hornsby has a gained a reputation for creativity, mastery, and collaboration across disciplines. According to Hornsby’s Facebook page, he dabbles in, “classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, gospel rock, blues, jam band, beyond labels,” and is perhaps best known for his solo performances on piano. Although he first gained acclaim in the seventies, his genre-bending styles and utter mastery create a musical appeal spanning multiple generations.

Some of his most acclaimed songs include, “Song H,” which was nominated for a Grammy in 2007, “Barcelona Mona,” an award-winning song made for the 1992 Olympics, and “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” in which he plays piano for Bonnie Raitt. His most famous song, “The Way It Is,” demonstrates not only his gifts as a songwriter but his conviction for social justice and racial equality. Tupac Shakur collaborated with Hornsby to make a hip-hop version of the song, which sold fourteen million copies.

In juxtaposing genres, Hornsby worked the legendary Ricky Scaggs to record a Grammy-winning bluegrass album. This man has played with everyone- Bob Dylan, Crosby Stills and Nash, Sting, Elton John, Eric Clapton, The String Cheese Incident, Willie Nelson, Bob Seger, Bela Feck, and has even toured with the Grateful dead for over 100 shows. Hornsby’s live performances are passionately one-of-a-kind; he likes to create a new identity for his songs each time he plays them, with improvisations and utter mastery over his Steinway piano.

Photo: newsobserver.com

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