September (And Everything After)

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

As of September 24th, Claudia Quintet’s latest record is available for purchase, listen, and beloving. The new album, September, features compositions that John wrote last September and features Claudia “Classic” dudes: Chris Speed, Matt Moran and Drew Gress, plus Eastman chum Red Wierenga as well as frequent bass-sub Chris Tordini.

Early reviews have not been displeased. Nate Chinen of the New York Times calls it “inspired,” noting that “the bouquet of timbres that Claudia Quintet presents hasn’t lost its freshness.”  S. Victor Aaron of Something Else! Reviews believes “Hollenbeck’s genius is very much present,” sharing equal love for the group as well, as “composing and musicianship are always at the highest level.”

All tracks were begun or completed in Septembers past, each named for and married to a date. Snatch a copy of the new album here. You can also learn more about the record, or sample the tune Chinen singled out as “most gorgeously melancholy,” “12th Coping Song:

ALSO: John and Co. join Balkan Bravuranauts, Slavic Soul Party! at (le) Poisson Rouge on October 3rd. By no means a massive venue, so New Yorkers and those nearby ought buy tickets on the double!


For every record, there is a tour (tour tour tour). Starting in October, CQ stretches bi-coastally, then bi-hemispherically, stopping along the way at the superbly-named Jazzmandu festival in Nepal where they spread peace with music amidst natural splendor. November then finds them again astride northern Europe…

Oct 2 Bucknell University – Lewisburg, PA

Oct 3 Le Poisson Rouge – NYC, NY

Oct 4 Firehouse 12 – New Haven, CT

Oct 5 Lewis & Clark College – Portland, OR

Oct 6 Cornish College – Seattle, WA

Oct 7 Willamette University – Salem, OR

Oct 8 Arcata Playhouse – Arcata, CA

Oct 9 Bows & Arrows – Sacramento, CA

Oct 10 Kuumbwaa Jazz Center – Santa Cruz, CA

Oct 11 Red Cat (Angel City Jazz Fest) –  Los Angeles, CA

Nov 19 Atrane, Berlin

Nov 20-22 Residency at the Royal Academy of Music 

Nov 23 London Jazz Festival (with the RAM Big Band) 

Nov 24 –  The Mac, Belfast

Nov 25 – The Workmans Club, Dublin

“Since I was young, I always thought jazz was the next thing, the thing that does not have a label yet. Once it is called something and has been codified, then for me it WAS jazz but is not any more”

Ready yourself for the Hollenbeck live experience by reading more from this interview John sat for recently with marlbank.