Pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer Herbie Hancock will be among the chosen few for the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Thursday that Hancock was selected alongside guitarist Santana, pianist, singer and songwriter Billy Joel, actress Shirley MacLaine and opera singer Martina Arroyo for the 36th annual national celebration of the arts.
In a statement, Hancock said he was “overwhelmed with emotion and, frankly, speechless when I was told that I was selected as a Kennedy Center Honoree. This is a most coveted award. To realize that my name will be among those whose outstanding work in the performing arts I most admire is very humbling.”
The honorees will be saluted during a star-studded celebration at the Kennedy Center on Dec. 15. The gala will be taped to air at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Dec. 29 on CBS.
It’s a weekend of festivities that includes a dinner hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry and a pre-gala reception at the White House with President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.