Jazz Guitar, History of Jazz
Masters of Music, New England Conservatory
Bachelor of Music, Oberlin Conservatory
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For the past decade, guitarist/composer ERIC HOFBAUER has collaborated with many of Boston's prominent jazz musicians as both an award-winning performer and a purveyor of concert series and recordings through his record label, Creative Nation Music. He earned his Bachelors of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory in 1996, studying composition with Wendell Logan and guitar with Robert Ferraza. In 1998, he earned his Masters of Music in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory, where he studied guitar with Mick Goodrick, and composition with Lee Hyla and Ran Blake.
He gained widespread attention as a guitarist through the response to his 2004 release, American Vanity (Creative Nation Music), for which he was dubbed "the heir to the avant-Americana throne" (Jazzreview.com). He is a co-leader of The Blueprint Project with saxophonist Jared Sims and pianist Tyson Rogers. The critically acclaimed group augments its original compositions and highly developed interaction with older, more established rhythm section players (such as Han Bennink, Cecil McBee and Matt Wilson) to create a consciously eclectic ensemble constantly reinventing itself.
With fellow guitarist Garrison Fewell, Mr. Hofbauer formed a guitar duo that led to their debut album The Lady of Khartoum, inspired by the deeper roots of jazz in the music of West Africa, Persia and the Arabic-Islamic world. In 2008 the duo toured northern Italy and in 2009 they toured through New England with Mr. Hofbauer's newest ensemble, Eric Hofbauer & The Infrared Band. The Infrared Band's 2008 debut CD, Myth Understanding, explores Mr. Hofbauer's intermingling interests in mythology and puzzles.
Mr. Hofbauer founded Creative Nation Music (CNM) as a Cambridge concert series in 2000, but it quickly grew into a multi-faceted effort to cultivate and organize Boston's local jazz scene. In 2003, he and Boston-based musician Chris Allen formed Creative Nation Music Productions to produce concerts in the Boston area and sell recordings by local musicians. In 2004, the label secured national distribution and released four CDs it produced. Now known as Creative Nation Music, the label has released 15 albums, recently celebrated its fifth year in production, and is a respected outlet for independent creative improvised music.
In between these ensembles and recording projects, Mr. Hofbauer is an active freelance musician in New England. He is a member of The Explorer's Club, Charlie Kohlhasea's award-winning septet that just released Adventures on the Boxholder label. In 2008, he performed at the American Repertory Theater as part ofa jazz trio in a post-modern production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar that will tour France in October and November of 2009.
Mr. Hofbauer teaches jazz history courses at University of Rhode Island and Emerson College. In the Jazz Studies department at URI, he also teaches applied guitar and has helped boost the department's guitar private studio from 4 to 13 students in the last two years. He coaches an advanced jazz ensemble at URI which focuses on performing complete classic recordings such as Miles Smiles by Miles Davis, Out To Lunch by Eric Dolphy and Speak No Evil by Wayne Shorter. He is routinely a guest speaker in music business classes at the New England Conservatory and has given master classes at the Longy School of Music, and Oberlin Conservatory.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council recently awarded Hofbauer their 2009 Artist Fellowship in Music Composition. He has been a member of the New England Conservatory Alumni Council since 2005 and is also a member of Phi Kappa Lambda. Eric is currently working on his first improvisation and composition method book entitled Evolving Sounds: A Modern Interpretation of Jazz Vocabulary.
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