John Hollenbeck was the Artist in Residence for the Institut Jazz und Volksmusik, Hochschule Luzern Musik for the 2010 -2011 year. He visited numerous times during this period, and his stay included a performance of large ensemble works on the ”Jazz Across the Border “ series, along with numerous master classes in composition and drums. He has been based in Berlin since 2005 as a member of the faculty of JIB, the Jazz Institute Berlin, which is a merger of the University of the Arts and the Academy of Music “Hans Eisler”.
Die Gespräche werden geführt von Gerry Hemingway, Dozent für Schlagzeug, Ensemble und Kompostion
In Zusammenarbeit mit einem der letzten Jazz-Plattenläden der Schweiz:
Born in Binghamton, NY as he puts it, “a million miles from NYC”, but as luck would have it for John, at a fortuitous moment in time, as this remote locale provided the possibility to grow up with a number of like-minded musicians, including trombonist Steve Davis (played with Blakey, Elvin Jones, Jackie Maclean), vocalist/pianist Dena Derose now teaching in Graz, Austria, and Tony Cadillac (lead trumpeter for bands of Sinatra, Maria Schneider, Barbara Streisand). Music was also in his family life with his brother Pat, who is a percussionist (mostly classical) working with among others, the Boston Pops, and who also headed the jazz department at the New England Conservatory for a period of time, and who also acted as a kind of musical father to his brother John (being 13 years his elder). Among other influences his brother fostered the expansion of his musical knowledge by importing crates of recordings into Binghamton and implored his younger brother to listen to all of them - which he did.
This fraternal input came with an interesting condition however. His brother would only allow him to copy one piece per lp onto his own cassette to keep for future listening, which resulted in a rather interesting mix tape, where Aaron Copland would be alongside Stevie Wonder and then to Mel Lewis to Chaka Khan which just “made perfect sense” to John's developing aesthetic. And with this small town came other interesting limitations, very little live music, one club he would later work in regularly, and then again with fortunate timing, a neighboring university for a limited time offered jazz workshops to the public where as an 11 year old he got to spend a week with the Woody Herman Big Band, and a year later another week with Bob Brookmeyer, the latter of which became a major influence in his musical evolution. And perhaps most curious was the presence of a jazz icon, though John did not know how important this musician was until later, bassist Slam Stewart, who lived in his neighborhood, and often appeared at local schools.
Bob Brookmeyer figures quite strongly in John's musical training, particularly as John sought him out later as a composition teacher. He was both supportive and rigorous, having John sharpen his compositional skills with writing chorales and compositions with very strict limitations, such as writing a piece using only a C major scale restricted to one octave. He also expanded John's listening palette with looking at scores of