- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2011

PARIS (AP) - Jazz great Herbie Hancock is being named UNESCO’s new Goodwill Ambassador, and he says he expects to use his music to build bridges across cultures and promote excellence and literacy.

Hancock says that his appointment Friday to the post is humbling but fits his humanistic ideals.

One project he is espousing is the creation of an international Jazz Day that could begin next year.

He sees jazz as a “metaphor for freedom but freedom with discipline” that can be used to build bridges across cultures and promote excellence and literacy.

Hancock, whose signature pieces include “Chameleon” and “Watermelon Man,” has adapted his music in a half-century-long career and says that at 71 his UNESCO post gives him a new lease on life. He says, “I’ve just started.”