Talks for jazz lovers

A list of the jazziest performances to hit the TED stage, straight from the bandstand.

  1. 25:05
    Herbie Hancock An all-star set

    Legendary jazz musician Herbie Hancock delivers a stunning performance alongside two old friends — past drummer for the Headhunters, Harvey Mason, and bassist Marcus Miller. Listen to the end to hear them sweeten the classic "Watermelon Man."

  2. 6:28
    Joey Alexander An 11-year-old prodigy performs old-school jazz

    Raised listening to his dad's old records, Joey Alexander plays a brand of sharp, modern piano jazz that you likely wouldn't expect to hear from a pre-teenager. Listen as the 11-year-old delights the TED crowd with his very special performance of a Thelonious Monk classic.

  3. 10:40
    Raul Midon "Tembererana"

    Singer/guitarist Raúl Midón performs "All the Answers" in a world premiere at TED2007, followed by the sprightly "Tembererana."

  4. 13:11
    Stefon Harris There are no mistakes on the bandstand

    What is a mistake? By talking through examples with his improvisational jazz quartet, Stefon Harris walks us to a profound truth: many actions are perceived as mistakes only because we don't react to them appropriately.

  5. 16:31
    Charles Limb Your brain on improv

    Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds.

  6. 6:29
    Onyx Ashanti This is beatjazz

    Musician and inventor Onyx Ashanti demonstrates "beatjazz" — his music created with two handheld controllers, an iPhone and a mouthpiece, and played with the entire body. At TED's Full Spectrum Auditions, after locking in his beats and loops, he plays a 3-minute song that shares his vision for the future of music.

  7. 10:36
    Eric Lewis Piano jazz that rocks

    Eric Lewis, an astonishingly talented crossover jazz pianist — seen by many for the first time at TED2009 — sets fire to the keys with his shattering rendition of Evanescence's chart-topper, "Going Under."