guitarist, composer, educator
Guitarist Eric Hofbauer muses on the power and musicality of speech on new quintet release "Waking Up!" Release Date: September 15th, 2023.
Greta Thunberg’s famous “How Dare You!” speech provides rhythmic and narrative basis for an imaginative four-movement suite.
Featuring Hofbauer’s “Five Agents” band in a follow-up to
2018’s release Book of Water:
Jerry Sabatini (trumpet), Seth Meicht (tenor sax),
Anthony Leva (bass), Curt Newton (drums),
Eric Hofbauer (guitar)
“The virtuosity displayed by Eric Hofbauer is staggering at times, but his acumen as a composer is even more impressive.”
— Burning Ambulance
TOURING NEWS - Eric Hofbauer, Jason Robinson in Japan JUNE 2023.
This collaboration with tenor saxophonist and composer Jason Robinson began with a tour in Canada in 2018 to celebrate the life and music of friend, collaborator and fellow guitarist, Ken Aldcroft. The album was released on Accretions Records out of Yokohama, and a supporting tour in Japan in 2020 unravelled because of COVID. But in 2023 Marcos Fernandez, label owner, fantastic drummer/percussionist/tour manager and all around incredible human, was able to put together a new tour of Japan for the duo. It was my first time there and I sincerely hope far from my last. Everything about it was amazing (and that word really can't live up to all the feelings I have about the trip), from the cities, mountains, infrastructure, culture, food (oh good god the food!!)...but most of all, the things that will live with me forever are the people and the power of music to connect us all.
Each concert was in these intimate, warm and beautiful "listening room" type of jazz clubs, the kind packed with albums, posters, books, paintings and other jazz memorabilia that both added charm and a sense of history to each space. Particularly moving for me was the fact that everywhere we played there were old signed posters of Han Bennink, who I recorded with (People I Like) and performed with many years ago before he retired. It felt like I was following in his footsteps and continuing a tradition set out by Han and his generation of globe hopping improvisers ready for new sonic adventure wherever wheels touched down. This brings me back to the people. We would play duo our set (it was special to play the music of Ken again and the total output energy of the duo was always to the fiery max, jet lag be damned) and then collaborate with Marcos and local improvisers that he knew for a second set of explorations. Instruments ranged widely... piano, violin, trumpet, trombone, laptop, bass, more guitars, etc. Although the music we made was vastly different each night, what was so powerful was that each night there was a communion, a "conference of the birds" to turn a phrase who overcame multiple communication barriers (not just spoken language but music style and improvisation vocabularies) to find spaces that celebrated both all the individuals and the newly formed collective whole. It's enough to put my faith back in humanity...seriously deep!
ALBUM NEWS - Period Pieces by Hofbauer, Jack, Leva & Sabatini dropped Oct. 22, 2022 - Kevin Whitehead Review!
Period Pieces was released on Oct. 22 on CNM, the 40th! album on the label. It is a collective project featuring myself on guitar and electronics, Dylan Jack on drums, Tony Leva on acoustic & electric bass, and electronics, and Jerry Sabatini on trumpet. The eight new compositions were created by a combination of parameter based improvisations, texture looping and collage editing. The result is something both completely of the moment but also structured by theme and narrative; steeped in dialogue and layering of time and groove. We are excited to share this project, now available on all platforms with BandCamp the preferred artist choice. Celebrated author and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead (Fresh Air) got deep into the music, the process and the traditions of electronics in jazz in this smashing review.
Concert Video - Glass Houses For Sound: Kris Davis, Noah Preminger, Eric Hofbauer & the Longy Now's The Time Ensembles.
On 3/10/22 Kris Davis kicked off the new Visiting Artist Collaborative Series at the Longy School of Music (the original date was 3/13/20...two years later we finally pulled this off!) Kris plays a solo set followed by a trio set with Noah Preminger (tenor sax) and myself (guitar and electronics), mostly improvisations based off of a few composed themes by Noah and myself. the final set features two student groups playing joining Kris to play through several of her compositions from her album Diatom Ribbons. There was something healing and powerful in the improvisation this night, a catharsis to counteract the burnout we (musicians and audience alike) wore on our bodies. The music and the creative spirit of everyone involved lifted that heavy garment (even if only for the concert.) It was an inspiring night! Thank you Kris and everyone involved, it was such a success on every level.
Boston-trained guitarist Eric Hofbauer cuts a broad swath through modern music since 1890: lassoing Satie, Nico, Waylon Jennings, and “Old Man River” into a 2002 solo record; playing Ives, Stravinsky, Messiaen, and Ellington’s elegy “Reminiscing in Tempo” in a memorable series of albums with his “Prehistoric Jazz” chamber quintet. Nowadays he also runs the jazz and contemporary music department at Bard’s Longy School. Hofbauer balances the serious and playful, and he gets an appealingly chunky, spiky acoustic guitar sound like the pre-amplified masters: he doesn’t lean on the signifiers but the (percussive) blues esthetic runs deep. - Kevin Whitehead, Moments Notice