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Art & Life with Holly Hofmann

Today we’d like to introduce you to Holly Hofmann.

Holly, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Growing up near Cleveland, Ohio, I started playing a plastic recorder at age 5 with my dad, a jazz guitarist, every night after dinner. At age 7, I started playing a standard flute and began formal lessons, while still learning jazz standards by ear. My parents insisted on classical music education, including two years of high school at Interlochen Arts Academy, followed by Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music.

After finishing graduate school in Colorado I moved to San Diego in the late ’80s. I signed a recording contract with Denver’s Capri Records and my first CD was released in 1989. I began touring nationally at that time and eventually began playing with my own band. The highlight of my musical life was being asked to tour as a guest with jazz icon Ray Brown from time to time. I also bookeda national jazz series here in San Diego from 1992 to 2010, including eight years at the Horton Grand Hotel, followed by Jazz in the Park at the San Diego Museum of Art, and currently a local series every Sunday at the Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley. I am also the Music Director of a jazz festival in Oregon, the Oregon Coast Jazz Party.

I came to understand that many people didn’t consider the flute a jazz instrument and have spent my musical life playing the flute in a style that made it sound like any other jazz “horn.” It has been a lifelong effort and believe I have made a difference in the way people view my instrument.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Besides being a touring and recording jazz flutist, I am involved in educating young jazz musicians (especially young women). Jazz is an art form that requires mastering one’s instrument but also listening to and absorbing styles and artists that speak to you. It is essential to understand the history of jazz (actually any type of music) before one can develop a vision and style of one’s own. I suppose my message would be that once you’ve attained a certain understanding of your music, it’s important to keep on learning and discovering, and also sharing that understanding with young artists and audiences.

The reason I present jazz is that I believe it’s important to play America’s classical music for audiences in our country as well as those in Europe and Japan, where jazz is popular and featured in festivals and concert halls to large crowds. As an artist, I can communicate with talent buyers and promoters about the music that will be best for their venue. On the other side, I can let the artists know what the budgetary considerations are at various events and assure them that they will have the fee and equipment they need for their performance.

Real jazz is swinging, accessible, and very uplifting. It is jazz in the tradition of the masters. My goal is to make audiences experience the joy and soulfulness of our music.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Here and elsewhere in the US, I play primarily with my husband, pianist Mike Wofford, We perform as a duo, in our quartet and currently with string orchestras playing the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim.

People can follow me on Facebook and Instagram for the most up to date info on any performances in San Diego and elsewhere. My CDs are available on Amazon, and also at Spotify, Pandora, or wherever you buy your digital music.

They can also see the jazz artists I am presenting every Sunday from 4:30-6:30 pm at the Handlery Hotel’s 950 Lounge in San Diego’s Mission Valley.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Beth Ross Buckley
Lisa Garner Santa
Zach Karabashliev

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