Corea started out in the '60s playing with trumpeter Blue Mitchell and latin greats such as Willie Bobo and Cal Tjader before discovering the electric piano, which would soon become his true passion. He played on the influential Miles Davis albums In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew before starting his own band Circle, an avant-jazz group. In 1971, he founded another band, Return To Forever, where he used the Moog and Minimoog synthesizers extensively to create a fusion of jazz and pop.
After Return to Forever disbanded in 1975, Corea started working with vibraphonist Gary Burton with whom he recorded Duets. His other bands include the Elektric Band, the Akoustic Band, and Origin.
He is also known for promoting Scientology.