"William knows no genre bounds and ceaselessly searches for new forms of music, always with the intent to inspire. \"New York City Jazz Record”.
“I consider myself a ‘jazz musician’. I know this word is defined in many different ways. My work fits in the jazz tradition because it\'s based on improvisation…it\'s based on learning one\'s craft…it\'s based on written out music in many cases…it’s based on traditional duo, trio, quartet and sextet settings”.
William Hooker is a View more
“William knows no genre bounds and ceaselessly searches for new forms of music, always with the intent to inspire. \”New York City Jazz Record”.
“I consider myself a ‘jazz musician’. I know this word is defined in many different ways. My work fits in the jazz tradition because it\’s based on improvisation…it\’s based on learning one\’s craft…it\’s based on written out music in many cases…it’s based on traditional duo, trio, quartet and sextet settings”.
William Hooker is a consummate jazz musician, an honorific that fully encompasses his roving, multivalent output as a composer and improviser over the last forty-five years. His poetic approach to the drumkit, and his musical approach to the raw material of language, propels an immense discography, including last year’s Symphonie of Flowers—a multi-part tour de force that attests to the ongoing event of his creativity.
Kirk: “One of modern jazz’s most skilled navigators of the divide between inside and outside, freedom and swing,\” Cornetist and Composer Kirk Knuffke has “full command of his most demanding instrument” (All About Jazz).
“Cornetist Kirk Knuffke harbors a dual commitment to formal
experimentation and bedrock tradition: There’s no either-or”. NY Times
“Over the last couple years, New York trumpeter Kirk Knuffke has
quietly emerged as one of the most exciting and flexible hornmen on
the scene.” -Peter Margasak, DownBeat
Knuffke’s way of “perfectly balancing sly groove and meditative exploration\” (Time Out New York) has been highlighted during collaborations with a host of incredible musicians including Roswell Rudd, William Parker, Myra Melford, Steve Swell, Marshall Allen, Tootie Health and Billie Hart. Knuffke has studied privately with Ornette Coleman, Art Lande and Ron Miles. He recorded a duo with John Medeski in 2018. Cam Scott
BIOS: Hooker was born in New Britain, Connecticut, on June 18, 1946. He began to play the drums at the age of 12. In high school, he played in a rock band, then switched to jazz. After graduating from Central Connecticut College, Hooker moved to California and became interested in free jazz Hooker moved to New York in the mid-1970s and was part of the loft scene, playing with musicians such as saxophonists David Murray and David S. Ware. His first recording as a leader was in 1976. His music was too radical to be commercially successful, and Hooker took other jobs to earn a living. This changed after he received praise for a 1988 recording, and he made frequent appearances at the Knitting Factory from early the following decade. Hooker was a founding member of the Text of Light, a musician\’s collective that released seven albums between 2004 and 2010.
William has led several bands, including a drums–trumpet–saxophone trio and an organ trio. They usually do not feature a bass, \”because of the intensity and volume of his drumming\”. He has also been the drummer in duos with guitarists, including Elliott Sharp and Thurston Moore. Hooker\’s playing and recordings have embraced a wide range and combination of musics, including free jazz, noise rock, electronics, contemporary classical, and experimental electronic.
William Hooker\’s body of uninterrupted work beginning in the mid-seventies defines him as one of the most important composers and players in jazz. As bandleader, Hooker has fielded ensembles in an incredibly diverse array of configurations. Each collaboration has brought a serious investigation of his compositional agenda and the science of the modern drum kit.
His work is frequently grounded in a narrative context. Whether set against a silent film or anchored by a poetic theme, Hooker brings dramatic tension and human warmth to avant-garde jazz.
His ability to find fertile ground for moving music in a variety of settings that obliterate genre distinctions offers a much-needed statement of social optimism in the arts.\” Thomas Stanley.
William has created works that range from jazz and \”new\” music to experimental genres. He has released over 70 CDs as a leader. Mr. Hooker has performed at the Brooklyn
BIO: Originally from Colorado, self-taught Knuffke—also having private lessons from Ron Miles—began playing with Butch Morris after landing in NYC in 2005. This friendship resulted in 4 recordings and several European tours. Knuffke then joined the celebrated Matt Wilson Quartet in 2009, recording Gathering Call (Palmetto) featuring John Medeski. He also currently performs with Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom, Sifter with Mary Halvorson and Wilson,
and groups led by Charlie Hunter, Ben Allison, Ray Anderson, Mark Helias, Bill Goodwin, Karl Berger, Michael Bisio and Ted Brown.
Accolades for Knuffke include NPR’s Best Jazz Album of the Year for 2017’s Cherryco (SteepleChase),winner of DownBeat Magazine’s “Rising Star” critics poll in 2015, and recipient of the Jerome Foundation Composers grant. In 2016, he placed 2nd in the European El Intruso Critics poll for trumpet.
Knuffke has released 18 recordings as leader or co-leader and is featured as a sideman on over 50 recordings with leaders Matt Wilson, Allison Miller, Butch Morris, Uri Caine, Pierre Dorge and Michael Formanek to name a few. It’s no wonder the New York Times tagged Knuffke as “one of New York City’s Busiest Musicians.”
2017’s Cherryco captured Knuffke’s “nonchalant versatility and ebullient melodic gifts,” (DownBeat) and was deemed as “nothing short of spectacular” by Village Voice critic Francis Davis.
Knuffke recently contributed to April 2018 DownBeat’s Brass School Series, penning an article entitled “Time and Tone.”
Knuffke possesses a “combination of history, artistic lineage, and masterful musicality that has marked his swift ascent from sideman to leader to acclaimed fire-starter . . . rhythmically precise, New
Orleans funky and full of grace . . . Knuffke’s music is a reflection of his multifaceted
personality: part musical sage, part jazz philosopher, a self-taught musician with wide interests, endless curiosity and an abundance of
good humor.” -Ken Micallef, DownBeat
“Cornetist Kirk Knuffke harbors a dual commitment to formal experimentation and bedrock tradition: There’s no either-or. Still, it’s not often that you encounter the harmony of forces found in Arms
& Hands (Royal Potato Family), Mr. Knuffke’s excellent new album…” -Nate Chinen, The New York Times