John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble Crash Courses to Fit Every Schedule

As JHLE gears up for its bicoastal tour, we reach out to those who don’t yet know this big band’s bag. How to become better informed on the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble in…

Ten seconds: Stare deeply into this picture of them:

One MinuteRead this blurb from TONY’s David Adler (via Ann Braithwaite):

“John Hollenbeck’s 18-piece Large Ensemble can explode with rhythmic drive and technical dazzle, or it can evoke serene calm, tone poetry and even prayer. It’s a big band for a new eclectic world, building on the legacy of seminal big-band composer Bob Brookmeyer and other role models. Hollenbeck holds it together with intricate drumming, compositional acumen and searing wit as he marshals the resources of top jazz improvisers, including saxophonist Tony Malaby and vocalist, Theo Bleckmann. The ensemble is currently touring to celebrate Eternal Interlude (nominated for a Grammy in 2009), the eagerly awaited follow-up to A Blessing (nominated for a Grammy in 2006) and Joys and Desires, a memorable side project with Europe’s Jazz Bigband Graz.”

Nine minutes: Watch this video of JHLE performing “Guarana” live at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia, PA

20+ minutes: Listen to WNYC’s “No Cover” feature on JHLE. The easiest way into JHLE is through its music, here artfully curated by WNYC and bearing its own set of quick, blurby factoids.


[Full article]

A good hour: Purchase, download and listen to “Eternal Interlude”, JHLE’s grammy-nominated 2009 album. Because you still believe in the special integrity that goes along with listening to a really great album start to finish.[LINK]

Bonus assignment: Using your newfound understanding of the JHLE ouevre, write them a section on John’s Wikipedia entry With your mighty hand, knowledge-holders, go inscribe them in the book of Wiki forevermore. Theirs can be a robust entry, all we need is you!

These words have been brought to you by Sir Jacques, Chronicler of John, to whom JH has ceded control of his online persona. All queries, complaints, kind remarks and general feedback regarding this blog may be directed to