Shapeshifters, Newport, and the Return of Pat

These words have been brought to you by Jacques Swartz, Chronicler of John. Jacques would like to reaffirm for all interested parties that he is not, in fact, Mr. John Hollenbeck, nor is he Mr. Hollenbeck’s imaginary alter-ego, but rather a fully discrete being in his own right.

All queries, complaints, kind remarks and general feedback regarding this blog may be directed to Jacques at


John is on

Fear not New Yorkers! After what feels like eons away, John returns!

On July 27th, John will reappear in (or is it from?!) the depths of Gowanus at The Shapeshifter. There he will be joined by The Claudia Quintet PLUS Mr. Matt Mitchell (Claudia’s perpetual plus one). NOT ONLY THAT, but in a special rare bonus configuration, John teams up with Gary Versace and John Hebert to form Triple Dutch Unit. Holla!

Then, on July 28th, he rises again! And with all the same players PLUS Ralph Alessi’s Modular Theatre, featuring Drew Gress, Loren Stillman, Tyshawn Sorey and Will Jennings!

And as if that completely gills-packed lineup WASN’T ENOUGH, CQ will both nights be joined by modern danseuses extraordinaires Ellen Fisher, Irene Hultman, Storme Sundberg , and Abby Levine! Mortel!

Details and ticket sales may be found at this very clickable link here.

Newport is nigh

The time has come, thou Hollenfans, to descend like English exiles onto Newport, RI. The occassion by now ought be plain: The 69th annual Newport Jazz Festival! As we’ve graciously made clear in the past John Hollenbeck stops at nothing to bring his gospel to Newport. Therefore, as humble followers, neither should we stop at anything to witness it, for this year’s word shall be triumphant indeed!

Astride yon Harbor Stage, on August 5th, at the stroke of 4:40pmClaudia Quintet + 1 will loose sweet revelation upon the assembled crowds. Joining them to set tarnation ablaze will be Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann, whose voices shall carry the word of the great Kenneth Patchen. Immediately following, John & al. will unmoor the harbor stage from the watery gates of Newport and sail away to redemption!

Join us! The time is now, fellow flock. Leave behind possessions of this Earth. Your job, your pets, and, if they won’t cooperate, even your children, all may be cast aside as you embark on a renewed life at Newport. Come be free and bask in the light of awakening and glittering shellfish.

Tickets, info, and the first steps to salvation may all be found here. (And for all you seeking to rid yourselves of possession before departure, we can assist in that process as well.)

Pat is back

We are pleased to report that Pat Hollenbeck, John’s brother and fellow percussionist-in-arms, has made a triumphant comeback following a debilitating stroke and resumed his place as percussionist for the Boston Pops! His first official gig since recovery was on July 4th, playing the Pops’ annual Independence Day gig on the Esplanade. To see Pat in action (and witness the unmistakable family genes embodied by another) check out this video (Pat’s segment is at 2:32)

Gress undressed 

As a treat for all our adoring music comp nerds (geeks? wizards? mages?) we leave you with link to two transcriptions of Drew Gress music and a sweet vintage Claudia Song, courtesy of The Aimless Rambler. Decoct, replay, recompose and enjoy!