Himalayas, Redwood Highways, and The Claudia Quintet Video Project

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 johnhollenwebpr@gmail.com




Towards the end of October, Claudia Quintet found themselves in beautiful new territory when they came to join Jazzmandu, “The Best Jazz Party in the Himalayas,” and plainly one of the best-named music festivals anywhere. With live sets in full fivesome mode at the club Jazz Upstairs, Gokarna Forest Resort, the U.S. Ambassador’s residence, and the Jazzmandu Finale, John also manned the batons with CQ as part of an 11-piece international pan-jazz revue, a vertible “musical Tihar,” in the words of one reviewer. You can read more firsthand accounts in that piece in the Himalayan Times here, and take in the sights that Claudia saw in Kathmandu, Nepal at this marvelously colorful photo gallery here.


Claudia Quintet’s latest record, September, continues to garner positive notice far and wide. Ralph Miriello glowingly reviewed the record and its accompanying live show in a piece now living on the Huffington Post. Jeff Dayton-Johnson wrote about the record and then even went so far as to speak with John himself, over at All About Jazz. The conversation went so deep that inside sources tell us even John’s own wife learned something new from the article. Robert Ham interviewed as well, in the Willamette Week, revealing how John’s approach to drumming has changed over the years. If these reviews so move you, you can own yourself an album by visiting the Cuneiform bandcamp here.


Picture: you are listening to Royal Toast. Sound waves tumble down ear canals on both sides and make fast friends with your weirdest of neuron clusters, proliferating wondrous and strange images inside your head. Claudia has brought to light a vision, and you would show the world if only you had a good excuse to do so.

Announcing The Claudia Quintet Video Project.

Video artists, animators, filmmakers of all stripes: when next you are listening to a Claudia tune and find you’ve caught the feeling, bring your ideas to video life and send a link where we can view them to hollenbeckmusic@gmail.com. We will feature our favorites on YouTube and all across the Hollenbeck Internet as testaments to artistic procreation—and, to make it a true contest, we’ll award a prize of $250 to our #1 pick. The deadline for submission is January 15th. 

We’ve commissioned five video artists already. The first video in our project, by Jak Ritger, may be seen below. Here’s to your work joining his soon!


You needn’t be Nepali to see John and the gang. Touring continues in Europe this month with The Claudia Quintet; all you who live there, take note and ticket up.

Nov 19  A Trane – Berlin, GERMANY

Nov 20-22  Residency at the Royal Academy of Music – London, UK

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

Nov 24  The Mac – Belfast, N. IRELAND

Nov 25  The Workmans Club – Dublin, IRELAND

Looking further into the future:
New Yorkers will get the chance to see John at the Cornelia Street Cafe with The Claudia Quintet on JAN 9 & 10th, and with Refuge Trio on JAN 11th…2014!!


We conclude, as is sometimes our wont, with tour photo dispatches, this time from CQ’s recent travels in the US West. See the gang motor through redwoods, trundle up beaches, and more, at this photo gallery here.