Mathisen & Hoff feat. Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez
October 2017 Horacio “el Negro” Hernandez will tour in the South of Norway with Per Mathisen (bass) and Jan Gunnar Hoff on keys. The trio will also record an album in Barxeta, the studio of Losen Records.
Horacio “el Negro” Hernandez is regarded as one of the best drummers in the world. His contribution to music is immense, having recorded and performed with many bands and top class artists. This 1997 Grammy award winner has performed with music greats like McCoy Tyner, Michel Camilo, Carlos Santana, Stevie Winwood and notable Latin American ensembles, the Tropi-Jazz All Stars of the late Tito Puente.
Horacio Hernandez was born in 1963 in Havana Cuba. His love for music can be attributed to the music environment he grew around. His family had a strong background of music. His grandfather was a trumpeter who played in bands like the famous Septeto National. His father and brother were also great music lovers who would spend a lot of time listening to music. Since birth, Hernandez’s nick name has been El Negro or ‘the black’, a name is commonly identified with till today.
Later on Paquito D’Rivera called on jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie to help El Negro. El Negro almost got the visa but Dizzy died as the process went on so El Negro was stuck in Italy for two and half year. However, he did not cry over spilt milk and instead chose to keep on playing in Italy, doing gigs around Rome. In 1993, he was allowed to move to New York on condition that he would comply with the travel sanctions imposed on Cuba, so he had to turn down many offers of tours to South America. This however proved to be beneficial since he had a chance to increase his studio work and got a chance to play with jazz greats like Dave Valentin, Paquo Vazquez, Daniel Ponce, Ed Simon and Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra, this time under the leadership of Paquito D’Rivera. Later when travel restrictions were removed, Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez toured freely and did great work with various bands in Cuba and U.S notable among many was work with Michel Camilo and Kip Hanrahan’s “Deep Rumba” project. He also played for the album “Supernatural”of Carlos Santana, which brought him his first Grammy Award.
The internationally reknowned mezzo soprano Marianne Beate Kielland and Jan Gunnar Hoff releases their album Terra Nova late March 2017 on the label Lawo Classics. The program consists of Hoff´s compositions for piano and vocal and classics like Blake/Perry´s Jerusalem.
Jan Gunnar Hoff launches his new jazztrio with Anders Jormin and Audun Kleive, two of Europe´s most reknown and respected jazz performers. A powerful trio setting presenting strong melodic compositions and high class interplay. Now available for booking 11-17.september 2017. Oslo Sept 16 confirmed. Download press release Jan Gunnar Hoff trio 2017.
Stories is Jan Gunnar Hoff’s third solo piano album on the 2L label and is a sequel to his critically acclaimed album Living from 2013. On the new release Hoff stretches his creative abilities, presenting contrasting compositions and improvisations, in a distinctly personal mixture. Some of the pieces are meditative and expressive, while others have a strong rhythmic vibe. Stories also displays Hoff as an arranger, presenting versions of classics like “God only knows” and the traditional Swedish folk song “Värmlandsvisan”. Stories is now available as high res sound files at 2L through this link and will find it´s way to streaming services and as CD/BluRay early December 2016.
Guitar legend Jan Akkerman and Jan Gunnar Hoff collaborates at Bodø Jazz Open 2017, presenting the project “FOCUS IN TIME”, a concert honoring the Focus heritage but also with jazz/fusion elements. In addition to Akkerman and Hoff the band consist of Marijn van den Berg, Akkermans permanent drummer and bassplayer Per Mathisen.
Jan Gunnar Hoff is performing av new composition on December 31, 2015 at the Bodø harbor, as part of the count down for Bodø´s 200 anniversary in 2016. The composition will be partly prerecorded and performed live, with a 25 piece girls choir to sing a lead part.
Jan Gunnar Hoff makes his third solo piano tour in Japan from February 6-10, 2016. The program will consist of music from Hoff´s solo albums but also free improvisations. The tour visits cities Tokyo, Kashiwa, Yokohama, Jyoetsu, Kanazawa. There will be a collaboration with a Nordic film festival in Tokyo, where Hoff will perform and talk about his stay at the Ingmar Bergman Estate on Fårö Island, Sweden. Hoff´s Japan-tour is supported by The Cultural Business Development Foundation (Sparebank 1 Nord-Norge Kulturnæringsstiftelsen).
Jan Gunnar Hoff continues his collaboration with Mike Stern in a new quartet setting, featuring drummer Audun Kleive and Per Mathisen on bass. This tour marks a 10 year anniversary for the Stern/Hoff-project, starting in 2006 with the premiere for Hoff´s commission MAGMA. The album MAGMA was released in 2008 and AAA wrote a.0: ”Stern delivers some of his best playing in years. Hoff’s writing and playing possesses an almost pop-like clarity and concision, but with a far richer vernacular”.
Hoff´s highly acclaimed “Fly North”-project is performing at Dølajazz in Lillehammer, Norway on October 16, 2015. The line up consist of Arve Henriksen, Audun Kleive, Mats Eilertsen in addition to Hoff. Link to arrangement. Previous reviews from “Fly North”- concerts here.
Jan Gunnar Hoff and leading Norwegian actor Bjørn Sundquist will perform their highly acclaimed HAMSUN-performance at Kongsbergjazz on July 3, 2015. Ticket sales (link). Further info, check Kongsbergjazz.no
Bergmanveckan is an annual arrangement organized by the Bergman Center on Fårö, Gotland. The main objective of the Bergman Center at Fårö Foundation is to manage and develop the public side of Ingmar Bergman’s legacy using a wide range of expressions. Jan Gunnar Hoff composed several works during his August 2014- residence at the Ingmar Bergman Estate. His contribution at Bergmanveckan 2015 will be at the opening on June 22 and also a solo concert on June 23 with selected compositions, some of them composed on Fårö.
Link to Bergman Center.
Jan Gunnar Hoff will perform a concert May 20 in Vilnius at the prestigous Lithuanian National Philharmonia. Famous artists like Rostropovitch, Mehenuin, Chick Corea, London Symphony Orchestra, Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, Penderecki, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Yuri Bashmet, Giedon Kraemer and Al di Meola have performed here. Hoff will perform from his solo program but also feature the great trumpeter from Lithunia, Valerijus Ramoška in several compositions.