Refuge Trio’s Stop-Motion Spring, Pre-Orderage Continues, and the Tour Dates March On

We begin our broadcast with this lovely stop-motion animation from German artist-designer Sarah Hartwig  That mellifluous background sound you’ll hear is none other than Refuge Trio, the nom-de-jazz of John’s combo with Messrs Theo Bleckmann & Gary Versace.

Delightful, no? Now we return you to the ever-pressing concern of Pre-Ordering the New Claudia Quintet + 1 album, What is the Beautiful?. As we’ve recently reminded you, you can get an agressive head-start on your ownership of this superb new album by pre-ordering it from this website right here.

For those who may not know, this latest CQ+1 record features and is dedicated to the poetry of Kenneth Patchen. For a swell overview of Mr. Patchen’s interdisciplinary oeuvre, we refer you to this Rochester City Newspaper article, an article that just so happens to conclude with a review of CQ+1’s addition to the canon:

…a recording produced by Richard Peek (Director of Rare Books and Special Collections, UR Libraries), percussionist, keyboardist, and composer John Hollenbeck masterfully sets Patchen’s evocative works to decidedly modern music. His band, The Claudia Quintet (Ted Reichman, accordion; Chris Speed, reeds; Matt Moran, vibraphone; Drew Gress, bass; and Matt Mitchell, piano) plays them beautifully. The all-important voices are supplied by a nicely theatrical Kurt Elling and a wonderfully plaintive Theo Bleckmann.

Check out the new album on the CQ+1 Bandcamp, download the new “Job”, and get on the pre-ordering train so you can pre-own this fast-oncoming record!

But wait, there’s….


First & foremost, we promised you more details on JH’s appearances at the James Madison University this October 3rd-5th. Here, complete & excerpted for John-centricity, we present to you, the program:

Monday, Oct. 3

8 pm – Concert I (Forbes Center Concert Hall)

The Claudia Quintet with John Hollenbeck and Theo Bleckman

John Hollenbeck: Grey Cottage Studies – Wanchi Huang, violin;  Michael Overman, vibraphone

Tuesday, Oct. 4

11am – 12 noon (RH)

Talk with John Hollenbeck and Theo Bleckmann

Wednesday, Oct. 5

12:20-1:10 pm (Music Building Rm 142)

Composition master class with John Hollenbeck

1:25-2:15 pm (Music Building Rm 142)

Voice demonstration/lecture with Theo Bleckmann

7:30 pm – Pre-concert talk with John Hollenbeck and Theo Bleckmann (CH)

8 pm – Concert IV (CH)

“Chamber Music Meets Jazz”

Michael Gordon: Industry, for solo amplified cello – Carl Donakowski, cello

John Hollenbeck: Ziggurat, for 4 saxophones and 5 percussionists

JMU Jazz Ensemble plays selections by John Hollenbeck, featuring the Madison Singers and Theo Bleckmann, with Andy Connell, Dave Pope and Bob Hallahan

“This festival is sponsored in part by the JMU Office of International Programs.

Concerts I-IV are ticketed. All other events are free and open to the public. For ticket information, visit, call the Forbes Center Box Office at 540.568.7000, or visit the Box Office between 10:00 am and 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

Could you ask for anything more?


Well November 18th, CQ+1 will reemerge at the Stone in New York, followed by a November 19th gig at Philadelphia Art AllianceOn November 20th they perform, with Theo, at the Cuneiform Records Showcase in Baltimore, MD December 16th-17th CQ+1 will visit The Cornelia Street Café. Finally, on February 18th, JHLE will perform at Amherst College, in Massachusetts.

Got all that? Watch this space for further details and more show dates and visit this page to stay atop the scene…

These words have been brought to you by Jacques Swartz, Chronicler of John, to whom John has relegated all duties pertaining to web PR and general online upkeep. 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