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Contact Paul Hofmann
at MHR Records

99 Westerloe Avenue
Rochester, New York 14620

phone: (585) 319-9079

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Photography by Kelley Yost

MHR Artists

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“Swinging, rock-solid; inventive and technically masterful ... Hofmann has synthesized the influences of everyone from Schubert and Mendelssohn to Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett. His considerable musical gifts as a pianist and composer ... including tasty comping and fluid solos ... lead to inspirational listening, full of harmonic surprises...”

— trumpeter Mike Metheny
(and former editor of Jazz Ambassador Magazine)

Paul Hofmann – piano

(appears on all MHR recordings)

Paul HofmannPaul Hofmann was born in Buffalo, New York in 1962. His parents were Paul’s first piano teachers, and he went on to study at the National Music Camp (Interlochen, Michigan) and at the Eastman School of Music, where he now serves full-time on the Eastman Community Music School faculty.

In these capacities Paul teaches private composition and jazz piano, as well as a variety of jazz classes and improvisation workshops ranging from Jazz Composition & Arranging and Jazz Lab Band to Jazz History and Diploma Jazz Piano to three innovative classes Hofmann has introduced into the curriculum: New Inventions & Etudes, Contemporary Popular Composition and Transcribing Music.

Paul is fortunate to have numbered among his students some of the best young jazz pianists and composers in the world, including Christopher Ziemba, Nick Weiser, Matt Podd, Angelo DiLoreto, Joshua Condon, and Matt Valerio. For years, Paul has been proud of his best students’ notable successes: performing in the most important venues (including Carnegie Hall), appearing on the most important jazz programs (including NPR’s “Piano Jazz”), and winning scores of national and local competitions.

Hofmann is a featured instructor at both of Eastman's annual summer jazz camps, leading combos for both camps (High School and Middle School) in addition to co-teaching a jazz arranging workshop with Eastman's noted composer Dave Rivello. Both this workshop and Paul’s annual Kilbourn Hall recital commence during the High School jazz camp a couple weeks before the Middle School camp begins, co-led by Howard Potter and Bill Tiberio.

Paul has performed and recorded with many of the finest musicians, having several notable television and radio appearances to his credit. In addition to Hofmann’s dual role as composer and pianist for Sons of Sound Productions (appearing on “Escapade,” “Interconnection,” “Fallen Angel,” and “Out of the Darkness” with guitarist Bob Sneider), Paul is represented as composer on vocalist Kevin Mahogany’s “Double Rainbow” (Enja Records), “Kevin Mahogany Big Band” (Zebra Records/Mahogany Jazz) and on the Frank Mantooth Jazz Orchestra’s “A Miracle” (Sea Breeze Records), as pianist on “The Kansas City Boulevard Big Band” (Sea Breeze), and in both roles on drummer Michael Melito’s “’Bout Time!,” “My Conception” (both on MHR Records) and “In The Tradition”. Paul and Bob have also released an acclaimed third duo disc entitled “Serve and Volley,” on Origin Records. Hofmann is also featured as composer, arranger and performer on “Nocturne for Ava,” the second Bob Sneider-Joe Locke film noir project (Origin Records).

Since 1991, MHR has been a primary outlet for Hofmann’s piano playing and composing. The seventeen digital projects released to date have consisted of everything from solo piano performances to duets to jazz trio, quartet and quintet arrangements, and have featured exceptional sidemen (including many highly-regarded jazz artists).

When not recording, teaching or writing music (Hofmann has been commissioned to compose dozens of pieces over the years), Paul finds time to perfom with many superb musicians including Bob Sneider, Mike Melito and bassist Danny Vitale.

Other noted jazz artists Hofmann has performed with include violinist Claude “Fiddler” Williams; bassists Ron Carter, Todd Coolman, Milt Abel, Mike Richmond, Jay Leonhart, Phil Palombi and Martin Wind; drummer Steve Gadd; vocalists Diane Reeves and Karrin Allyson; trombonists Steve Davis, Fred Wesley, John Fedchock, Wycliffe Gordon and David Gibson; vibraphonists Joe Locke and Howard Potter; trumpeters Byron Stripling, Warren Vache, Joe Magnarelli, John Swana, Alex Norris, Richie Vitale, Steve Fishwick and John Sneider (with John appearing in the MHR catalog); clarinetist Ken Peplowski; and saxophonists Anthony Braxton, Eric Alexander, Gerry Niewood, Joe Romano, Frank Tiberi, Don Menza, Larry McKenna, Richie Cole, Vincent Herring, Bruce Johnstone, Walt Weiskopf, Michael Hashim, Harry Allen, Frank Basile, Osian Roberts, Grant Stewart and Ralph Lalama (with Grant and Ralph both also appearing on MHR recordings).

Paul has performed as featured guest artist with Jeff Tyzik and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He has accompanied artists from baritone Robert Merrill to comedians Frank Gorshin and The Smothers Brothers, and once played piano for Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

Michael Melito – drums

(“’Bout Time!,” “Topsy Turvy,” “My Conception”)

Born 1965 in Rochester, Mike comes from a musical family. Mike was exposed to jazz music from an early age, absorbing his family’s extensive collection of classic jazz recordings.

Mike’s father and brother Chris are both trumpeters, and his brother Tommy is another talented jazz drummer. In fact, it was Tommy who first influenced Mike to become a drummer.

Over the years, Mike has performed with noted jazz artists such as tenor saxophonists James Moody, JR Monterose, Joe Romano and Chris Potter; guitarists Gene Bertoncini and Joshua Breakstone; vibraphonist Joe Locke; and Chuck Mangione. He appears on jazz pianist Dino Losito’s wonderful trio album, “Like That” (Bass on Top Music), released in 2002.

Mike has been very active in the upstate New York jazz scene for years, and also plays in New York City occasionally. Mike maintains an extensive private teaching practice and enjoys performing in schools, educating young people about jazz.

Rod Fleeman – guitar

(“By Candlelight,” “This Beautiful Love”)

After performing with the East Coast fusion band Dryjack, versatile guitarist / composer Rod Fleeman has for years contributed to many memorable gigs and sessions in and around Kansas City. He is an essential component of the outstanding jazz quartet, Interstring, whose latest CD is entitled “Winter Song.”

Paul Gill – bass

(“’Bout Time!,” “Topsy Turvy,” “My Conception”)

Bassist Paul Gill, a New Yorker via Baltimore, has worked with saxophonists Stanley Turrentine, Gary Bartz and Benny Golson, trumpeter Tom Harrell, and vocalist Jon Hendricks. He has also recorded with the Richie Vitale Quintet, appearing on “Live at Small’s” (TCB Records). Paul has also toured recently with jazz vocalist Diana Krall.

Devin Kelly – drums

(“The Pulse”)

Devin Kelly is a freelance percussionist based out of Ithaca, New York. He received a Masters Degree in drumset performance from the Eastman School of Music in May 2005. While at Eastman, Devin was a member of the Eastman Jazz Ensemble and the Eastman Studio Orchestra, both under the direction of Bill Dobbins.

Devin has shared the stage with Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer, Barry Harris, Eric Reed, Wessel “Warm Daddy” Anderson, Gary Foster, Clay Jenkins, and many other jazz luminaries.

Devin has also toured nationally and internationally as a member of the pit orchestras for several Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Most recently he played drumset in the orchestra for the 2003 international tour of “Barry Manilow’s Copacabana” produced by Windwood Theatricals Inc.

Ralph Lalama – tenor saxophone

(“My Conception”)

A native of Aliquippa, PA (near Pittsburgh), Ralph moved to New York in 1975. He has been prominently featured with the Mel Lewis Orchestra since 1983 (and continuing after Lewis’s death, in the renamed Vanguard Orchestra). Lalama has also played with jazz legends Barry Harris, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman and Joe Morello. Ralph has released four Criss Cross albums: “Feelin’ and Dealin’,” “Momentum,” “You Know What I Mean,” and “Circle Line.”

Joe Magnarelli – trumpet and flugelhorn

(“’Bout Time!,” “My Conception”)

From Syracuse, NY, Joe moved downstate to New York City in 1986. He’s played with jazz greats Lionel Hampton, Toshiko Akiyoshi and Brother Jack McDuff, among others. Joe has released four albums for Criss Cross, including his latest, “Mr. Mags.”

Kevin Mahogany – vocals

(“This Beautiful Love”)

Originally from Kansas City, vocalist Kevin Mahogany recorded three well-received albums with the German independent label Enja before landing at Warner Bros. Records. With his self-titled Warner Bros. debut in 1996, Kevin won acclamations from Newsweek, which described him as “the standout jazz vocalist of his generation.” That same year, Mahogany appeared in Robert Altman’s film Kansas City, portraying a character inspired by Big Joe Turner. A perennial Downbeat poll winner, Kevin has also edited The Jazz Singer, a quarterly periodical. He currently teaches at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Mike Metheny – muted cornet, flugelhorn and EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument)

(“A Child Is Born,” “New Inventions” [as composer], “The Flood and the Rainbow”)

Mike Metheny is a free lance trumpeter in the Kansas City area and was the editor of the Kansas City Jazz Ambassador Magazine (JAM) from 1994 through early 2004. He has released six solo albums, has appeared on many others as a sideman, is a former faculty member at the Berklee College of Music, and is a recipient of a Boston Music Award for “Outstanding Brass Player.” Mike’s latest CD is “K.C. Potpourri” (3 Valve Music).

Charles Perkins – flute, clarinet and bass clarinet, alto and soprano saxophone

(“A Child Is Born,” “There With A Smile”)

Charles Perkins has lived and worked in the greater Kansas City area for years, showcasing his versatility in a variety of musical situations. Accomplished on many wind instruments, Charles has performed with notable vocalists Billy Eckstine, Lena Horne and Della Reese; trumpeters Woody Shaw and Ted Curson; and tenor saxophonist Frank Foster.

Tommy Ruskin – drums

(“Dialogues in Rhythm,” “There With A Smile,” “Things Are Looking Up!”)

Drummer Tommy Ruskin has enjoyed a distinguished career, having played with jazz greats Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Clark Terry, Scott Hamilton and Gene Harris (among many others). For twenty years, Ruskin has been highly involved with both the Topeka and Kansas City Jazz Workshops. Tommy lives and works in Kansas City, where he and his wife, vocalist Julie Turner, have long been mainstays of that city’s jazz community.

John Sneider – trumpet

(“My Conception”)

Trumpeter John Sneider resides in New York City where he maintains an active career as a performer, studio musician, and composer of music for television and radio commercials. John has performed with Max Roach, Curtis Fuller, The Mingus Big Band, Andy Bey, The Frank Foster Big Band, Larry Goldings and Brad Mehldau. In 1998 John was the winner of the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition. John currently serves as a professor of Jazz at the New School for Social Research / Mannes School of Music. His debut disc, “Panorama,” was released in 2000 on Double-Time Records.

Gerald Spaits – bass

(“Things Are Looking Up!”)

Gerald Spaits, a native of Kansas City, is one of the foremost bass players in the Kansas City area. Gerald has enjoyed an active career including with jazz legends Jay McShann and Claude “Fiddler” Williams. Appearing with national recording artists Herb Ellis, Rob McConnell, Marilyn Maye, Gary Foster and The Woody Herman Orchestra, Gerald has also provided soundtracks for TV and radio commercials. He has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival and the World’s Fair in Seville, Spain. In 1998, Gerald released his debut CD, “Three Sides” (Passit Productions).

Bob Stata – bass

(“The Pulse”)

For over three decades, Bob Stata was a mainstay on the Rochester music scene and his reputation in the jazz world carried well beyond upstate New York. His two solo CD releases, “Solid State” and “Get This,” both have received international acclaim and radio airplay.

Bob’s education led him to study at the Eastman School of Music, B.M., M.M. and Nazareth College, M.S. Ed. As a sideman, Bob performed and recorded with a virtual “who’s who” of jazz legends including Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Barry Harris, Marian McPartland, Gene Bertoncini, Grant Stewart and Karrin Allyson.

Alongside his topflight performance career, Bob was a dedicated and gifted educator who taught at Allendale Columbia School, Eastman Summer Jazz Studies Program, and Swing ‘N’ Jazz Workshops, as well as teaching private bass lessons. Sadly, Bob died of brain cancer on June 14, 2005. More important than his music credentials, Bob was everyone’s best friend.

Grant Stewart – tenor saxophone

(“’Bout Time!,” “Topsy Turvy,” “My Conception”)

Originally from Toronto, tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart now lives and works in New York City. He has two albums available on Criss Cross: “Downtown Sounds” and “More Urban Tones.” Grant travels frequently, playing all over the world. He has studied with saxophonists Pat LaBarbera and Bob Mover, as well as with jazz legends Barry Harris and Donald Byrd.

MHR Catalog

CD-21-23

Who Knows?
Paul Hofmann and Chris Ziemba
Piano duets
CD-21/22/23 (3 discs)

CD-20

Dialogues in Rhythm
Paul Hofmann with Tommy Ruskin
Jazz and classical duets
CD-20

CD-18-19

Interpretations Volumes 1 & 2
Paul Hofmann
Jazz and classical piano solos
(with six bonus tracks)
CD-18/19 (2 discs)

CD-17

The Flood and the Rainbow
Paul Hofmann
Jazz and classical piano solos
(with a bonus duet)
CD-17

CD-16

Letter to Sarah
Paul Hofmann
Jazz piano solos
CD-16

CD-14

The Pulse:
The Music of Bob Stata

Paul Hofmann
Jazz solos and trios
CD-14/15 (2 discs)

CD-13

New Inventions
Paul Hofmann
Jazz and classical piano solos
CD-13

CD-12

’Bout Time!
Michael Melito Quartet
Jazz quartets
CD-12

CD-11

By Candlelight
Paul Hofmann
Jazz piano solos
(with a bonus duet)
CD-11

CD-10

Topsy Turvy
Paul Hofmann
Jazz quartets, trios,
duets, solos
CD-10

CD-09

My Conception
Michael Melito Quintet
Jazz quintets, a quartet
and a sextet
CD-09

CD-08

A Child Is Born:
Jazz ballads and lullabyes

Paul Hofmann
Jazz duets and solos
CD-08

CD-06/07

Hashoah Lamentations:
Lamenting the Holocaust

Paul Hofmann
Jazz and classical piano solos
CD-06/07 (2 discs)

CD-05

There With A Smile
Paul Hofmann Trio
Jazz trios, duets, solos
CD-05

CD-04

This Beautiful Love
Paul Hofmann
Jazz duets and solos
CD-04

CD-03

Things Are Looking Up!
Paul Hofmann Trio
Jazz trios, solos and a duet
CD-03

CD-02

Serenades, Waltzes and Romances
Paul Hofmann
‘Chamber jazz’ piano solos
CD-02 (compact disc)
CA-02 (cassette)

CD-01

When You Dream
Paul Hofmann
Jazz piano solos
CD-01