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The Thought Criminals
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Merlot Embargo
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Nati Maimone
Featured - 03/03/2017

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Featured Artist.....13/01/2017...... 'Dave Hoffman'

From 1991 until 2004 David Hoffman was the trumpet/flugelhorn soloist and composer/arranger with the Ray Charles Orchestra. During his stint with Ray, Dave has played extensively in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia, including Rays first trip to Russia in 1994 and the return visit in 2000, where he played with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl. He has appeared on television in France, Italy, Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Holland, Spain, Russia, Portugal, Japan, Argentina and Brazil, and in the United States has appeared on The Tonight Show on NBC, Live at Newport on PBS, Merv Griffins New Years Eve Celebration, The ABC 24 Hour Millennium Marathon, and the Fox TV special Ray Charles, 50 Years of Music, where he accompanied Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Michael McDonald, Randy Travis and Willie Nelson. He has performed at most of the worlds major jazz festivals, including Newport, JVC, Nice, Antibes, Boston Globe, North Sea, Montreal and Montreux. Dave is a featured soloist on the DVD and CD “Ray Charles Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival” (Pioneer Artists PA-11676)


During 2005-2006 David was Visiting Professor of Music at Knox College in Galesburg, IL, where he conducted the Knox Jazz Ensemble and the Cherry Street Combo. Dave also served as Musical Director for the 2006 Rootabaga Jazz Festival.

David teaches trumpet, jazz piano, jazz combos and improvisation at Knox College.

David has recorded with Paul Adams, Daniel Leahy, The Senses, the Stone/Bratt Big Band, the John Cooper Jazz Orchestra, Four Corners, and The Neurons.

Dave is a Neuron. He is also a member of The Daniel Leahy Sextet and the Senses. He is a founding member of the Illinois Central Jazz Train and performs with the New York based quartet Four Corners.

David is the President of the Peoria Federation of Musicians, Local 26, AFM.

David's first CD, From Energy to Stillness, combines jazz and world music influences into a serene and contemplative palete for his trumpet and flugelhorn stylings

Groovin features 9 original jazz compositions in a quintet and octet setting, ranging in style from bebop and post-bop to bossanova and mambo. On this CD David shows that Jazz as a genre is just the beginning for his unique ability to blend many musical influences

Christmas In Your Heart is David's holiday greeting, featuring both new Christmas selections and traditional classics reworked to showcase Dave's flair for the unusual.

Prairie Skies is a follow-up to From Energy to Stillness, it's groove-oriented jazz that crosses stylistic barriers and mixes elements of many idioms.

His compositions and arrangements have been played by The Ray Charles Orchestra, The Alternatives, The San Diego Concert Jazz Band, the Brooklyn Jazz Orchestra, The Heartland Jazz Orchestra, The Neurons, Four Corners and the US Navy Jazz Band Southwest. He has served as guest soloist and clinician with the University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble, the Millikin University Jazz Band, the Lincoln Land College Jazz Band, the Heartland Jazz Orchestra, the Illinois State University Jazz Ensemble, the US Navy Band Southwest and others.

Dave has not shaved since 1973

What about the movement of the present day. Music that is defined as Light Jazz?

I think much of it is the antithesis of real music. Devoid of any magic or soul, performed either lacklusterly or overly emotionally, so heavily produced that it is robbed of any sort of spontaneity. I'm not putting everyone into that classification, but in general the form leaves me pretty cold. "Lite" jazz is much like "Lite" beer... watered down.

Forgive me but I wanna put in a plug for a poem I did about this subject called THE LILLYPAD.

Anyway... Well ya know, your album From Energy To Stillness sort of fit there, and maybe sort of fit in New Age. It was odd in that, in my opinion, it was where Light Jazz should have gone. Now New Age has the same connotation with some musicians. That is, that it is a bit empty and devoid of grist. Even thought FETS struck a chord with just about everyone at live gigs. The Light Jazz radio folks did not believe it was commercial. I find that frustrating. Why are programmers so frightened to take risks?

Programmers are afraid to take risks for the same reason anyone is afraid to take risks. They might make a mistake, and in their profession if you make too many mistakes you are unemployed. Plus radio stations are much more "corporate America" than they used to be. When I was growing up, the disk jockeys had some say over what they played on their shifts. Many DJ's created hit records this way. They took the risk on an individual basis, and once other DJ's and programmers saw a tune taking off, they would also add it. It was a much more grass-roots process.

These days the play lists just get shorter and shorter. But the really odd thing is that the shorter the play lists get, the more successful the station seems to become. If it didn't work for them, they wouldn't do it, right?

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