On February 26th Berkeley’s Jazz School for Music Study & Performance will be hosting a special three hour composition workshop with none other than John Hollenbeck himself. This is a rare opportunity to peer inside the technical and creative gearbox of a man whose work routinely big bangs microgenres and improvisatorial playgrounds. To paraphrase the School’s invitation, all musicians with a rudimentary knowledge of music theory are invited to have their minds scholastically blown. Participants can bring pieces that they have started and come away with forty new beginnings. John will also discuss and his use some of his compositions as examples—truly exciting since most of his works are written in multicolored glass sand! Information of all sorts is available here.


Forget not those shows still un-attended! The hour of Claudia Quintet gig-going is already nigh, y’all!

February 27, Yoshi’s, San Francisco, CA

February 28, Blue Whale, Los Angeles, CA

February 29, Cal State Fullerton New Music Festival, CA

March 1 (with Theo Bleckmann Duo & the CSUF Jazz Ensembles), Cal State Fullerton New Music Festival, CA

March 2, 560 Music Center, St. Louis, MO

Why, what better place than these to grab your very own 100% free



If they can make it out of St. Louis alive, Claudia then continues on to Europe! Details to follow so keep eyes peeled here. For max appetite-whetting, check out this review of a recent JHLE performance at Amherst College…(scroll down to February 19th post)


Another treat: There is an extensive article on and interview with John in the latest issue of Downbeat. Check out what else is inside and learn where you might obtain your own copy here.


Right? How cool is that? What’s that? “Extremely”? Correct! Two discs. Many great reinventions. I mean DJ Spooky. Todd Reynolds. Vijay Iyer. Lee Ranaldo. Nico Mulhy. Effing Bjork! (And why not? Is not MM her spiritual mother, after all?) Double-effing Caetano Veloso! Yes, that Caetano Veloso! Quão maravilhoso. Longtime apostles John & Theo appear as well, with “Wheel”. Seals the deal, don’t it? Indulge in a sampling of songs


Alternative Music webmag El Instruso (“Dedicado a ‘la otra música'”) has released its 2011 critics poll and neither one nor two but fully three Hollenprojects graced the top rankings. Claudia Quinet was rated #2 Group of the Year, JHLE, #3 Best Live Band, and John himself, #3 Best Composer. To review the other findings, brush up on your arthouse Spanish, and initiate a letter-writing campaign to the many who weighed in, visit this page here.

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