John’s Summer Blog


From John Edward:

In Blogging for Dummies, I read that it is important to be active and consistently blog…never stop! Up until the last few months, I have been pretty good at keeping up, but recently I just needed some “alone” time.

(Disclaimer: while I imagine it does exist, I have never read Blogging for Dummies, which will become more apparent as you read on…)

Also, on April 1st, Jacques blew my cover so I had to hide out for a while. Jacques is fine by the way, but I did have to break his arms so that he, at least temporarily, couldn’t do what he did on that last blog. I should mention here that one should look closely at the date of the last blog in conjunction with what that day signifies around the world in order to truly understand if it is true or in fact a good joke. Enough said!

On the serious side, I have been just sick of the Internet, social media, and the blogosphere, so I needed to take a break, and also not add to the traffic that’s already out there for a while.

So now I’m back in my truest form to let you know what I’ve been up to in all the time I’ve saved by not hanging out on the Internet. Plus you’ll get a lot of ideas on topics you can bring up with me in conversation the next time we meet.

Berlin is a lively place with a lot of live music and events:

In past month I have seen/heard: Wye Oak, an indie-rock duo with “touches of noise and dream pop”; TuneYards, just look it up!; The Notwist, a popular German indie-rock band; Ben Frost’s Wasp Factory, a visually amazing production; Boris Chamatz’s “20 dancers for the XX Century” at Treptower Park’s Soviet Memorial; Urban Sound Solar Art Installation in Tempelhofer Feld, a surround-sound experience in a vastly open space; Achim Kaufmann with Wilbert de Joode and Frank Gratkowski at a lovely house concert; Billy Hart Quartet, where I had the honor of packing up his drums with Joey Baron; Max Andrewski’s Hütte; the new incarnation of the ONJ; and Josef Dumoulin with Dan Weiss and Ellery Eskelin. My fingers were getting tired so feel free to ask me for more details about any of these that might interest you.

I also saw the David Bowie exhibit at the Martin-Gropius Haus and I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed this.

In the film category, we saw (I say we, because I’m usually accompanied by the lovely Kate Schroeder on these excursions): two recent documentaries on Ai Weiwei; a documentary about the Tiny house movement appropriately called Tiny; the exquisite and alarming Watermark; Jim Jarmursh’s Down by Law; and finally Boyhood (which we saw at a quintessential East German movie house on Karl Marx Allee). And a couple of these movies we were lucky enough to view at one of the many open-air movie festivals in Berlin in the summer – a perfect way to be outside but enjoy a good movie!

Speaking of good movies: I’m often asked about my time in Berlin and what I like about being here. Coming from a city like New York, what I always notice first about Berlin is the immense amount of open space when I look up in the sky and around me on ground level. The city has a relaxed vibrancy that feels healthy without being boring. One of my favorite things about Berlin is the incredible infrastructure of bike paths that make biking a fun and easy way to get to pretty much anywhere in the city.

To demonstrate this, I made a video to show my typical Berlin commute. For me, I appreciate being able to ride a bike considerably more than what my “normal” commute looks like, pictured below:



So without further fanfare here is “My Berlin Morning Commute”

(Dear Mother, I do not ride the bike this fast, I used fast motion to speed up the “boring” parts. Love, John)



UPCOMING SHOWS & whatnot  >>>

While Germany is still on my mind, this Sunday, July 20 at 3:05pm EST (which is 9:05pm Central European Time), DeutschlandFunk (German Radio) will be broadcasting the JOHN HOLLENBECK LARGE ENSEMBLE from our gig at Munich’s Unterfahrt Jazz Club in February.  To LIVE STREAM the concert, go to Deutschlandfunk live.

Back to America:

If you need your CLAUDIA QUINTET fix, we are performing a FREE CONCERT AT BRYANT PARK in Manhattan on August 8th at 6pm.

We will be performing our CMA commission, Royal Toast which features the quintet plus Matt Mitchell on piano.

Since I’m me, I have to go, but if I were you, I would definitely go!


In August, I’m lucky enough to be a MacDowell Fellow this summer, so I will be writing a whole bunch of new music while there for the Claudia Quintet, JHLE, JASS and more arrangements for the 2nd volume of Songs I Like A Lot (tentatively titled Songs We Like A Lot, which I know leaves me vulnerable to a volume 3, Songs You Like A Lot…which I guess could work out OK if “You” have similar tastes to “We” and “I”). This next volume, which we’ll be recording in Germany in September, is also with Theo Bleckmann, Kate McGarry and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, plus we’ve got the great Uri Caine on this one!

After that, I will be back on US soil again for some Claudia gigs where we will be playing in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia in late September – more info to follow soon!

BTW, we will be in Florida in late February, 2015 (first time for the quintet…Florida in February!!)

And lastly, last week Jon Schaefer of WNYC fame did an enjoyable New Sounds show on Drummers/Bandleaders. It is an honor to have my name mentioned in the company of the other drummer/bandleaders he featured. The JHLE playing eternal interlude concludes the show.


That’s all for now. Jacques’ arms will be healed soon and he will be back on the keyboard, which I’m sure will make some of you happy…or happier.


Over and outish,