Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Two Questions: Springtime Edition

Ari Hoenig is considered to be one of the most innovative jazz drummers of his generation. He is equally at home leading his own bands, as a sideman in other people's bands, and doing solo gigs. In spite of being so in demand, Ari agreed to be the latest performer to answer the two questions.

1) Why did you decide on a career in music?

In 11th grade there was this thing called career day. Everyone was pushed to make decisions about what they wanted to do as a profession. I decided that day to be a professional drummer. At least that would be my 1st choice. I also had some backup plans. It was a pretty obvious decision since my parents are both musicians so they both supported me, and I had been playing music for about 10 years already at that point.

2) What is it you love about jazz that made you decide to focus on that type of music?

I used to play classical music quite a lot as a kid. I remember being nervous before I played, afraid that I would make a mistake. I didn't like the many many bars of rests I had to count before playing one big bass drum note or cymbal crash.

With jazz, I didn't get nervous. I learned to make my mistakes into something musical, and I could create something different each time relating to how I was feeling or what I was thinking about at the time. Improvising by ear was always natural for me so I was drawn to that aspect of jazz.

To get a better idea of what an amazing musician Ari Hoenig is in live performance, click here for a video of him in action. Also be sure to check out his site: www.arihoenig.com.


  1. This is a wonderful post! I love that his parents supported him from the get go. Not many parents are that courageous.

  2. I love Ari - caught him at a festival in Australia. What a blast!