Jazz drummer Ari Hoenig visits home and looks to the future with two gigs at Chris’ this weekend

Photo via
Photo via

Though he’s lived in New York for the better part of twenty years now, drummer Ari Hoenig still looks forward to playing for audiences in his hometown, Philadelphia. A Mt. Airy native, Hoenig sharpened his skills during the legendary jam sessions at Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus.

“I can feel the history of the music when I’m playing in Philadelphia because the audience has a history with that music,” Hoenig says. “They feel the songs more than an audience of people who appreciate the art form but don’t really have a history with it. If you play a standard, they’ll immediately make a connection in their head and have an experience to go with it.”

That’s unique to the city where he was raised, Hoenig continues, which is one reason he continues to trek back to play at Chris’ Jazz Café several times a year. He can always be found on the bandstand there around Christmastime, as he will tonight and tomorrow night with his latest quartet. “I feel at home at Chris’,” he says. “It feels less like a concert scenario because it’s more relaxed and you get to hang out and talk to people. I’ve always really liked it but I think it’s getting better and better. It’s developing into something of an institution in Philadelphia.”

Back in NYC, the 40-year-old drummer has another home base, at the Greenwich Village club Smalls. He’s been performing and sitting in at jam sessions there for most of his time in the city, and these days anchors Smalls’ Monday night line-up. It was there, during the regular jam session that follows his own gig, that Hoenig first heard the young tenor saxophonist Tivon Pennicott, who will be joining him this weekend at Chris’. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ari Hoenig with Loop 2.4.3. at World Cafe Live, Tuesday Tune-Out at PhilaMOCA, and Liz Longley at Burlap and Bean

arihoenig Ari Hoenig and Loop 2.4.3. will help celebrate the Philly Drum Project‘s first anniversary tonight at World Cafe Live.  Working with locally and nationally known drummers, Philly Drum Project hosts monthly meet ups where percussionists can trade tips, check out gear, set up gigs and participate in workshops with the likes of Eric Slick and Chuck Treece.  Tonight’s event features a trio led by Hoenig, a Philadelphia native who has worked with many influential musicians including Pat Metheny and Wynton Marsalis.  Also on hand are Brooklyn percussion duo Loop 2.4.3., currently on tour in support of their 2012 LP American Dreamland.  Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here.  Below, watch Hoenig perform “The Way You Look Tonight” with his band.

Cinedelphia Film Festival‘s month of curating Tuesday Tune-Out at PhilaMOCA continues tonight with a screening of Loud! Fast! Philly!.  With its rare footage from the early 80s through today, the film uncovers and recalls Philadelphia’s hardcore punk history through the lens of bands and fans that were (and are) integral parts of the cultural environment.  Bands featured in Loud! Fast! Philly! include The Dead Milkmen, McRad, Decontrol and more – check out a preview of the film below.  Tickets and information for the 10:30 p.m. and showing can be found here (8:00 p.m. is sold out).

Liz Longley performs at Burlap and Bean tonight. Although now living in Nashville, Tennessee, the singer/songwriter is a Philadelphia native and will be coming home to play some of her songs in anticipation of her upcoming album entitled Liz Longley, and her new single “This Is Not The End” released on April 16th available through iTunes. She has also been The Local Pick Of The Day back in October 2010 with her song “Free”. Longley will be touring steadily through April, May, and June throughout the US. Tickets and information for the all-ages show with Seth Glier can be found here. Below, watch an acoustic session with Liz Longley playing her new single “This Is Not The End” from her upcoming album Liz Longley.


The Philly Drum Project celebrates its first anniversary at World Cafe Live on April 23rd

Loop 2.4.3 will perform at the Philadelphia Drum Project's one-year anniversary | Photo by Dan Gottesman
Loop 2.4.3 will perform at the Philadelphia Drum Project’s one-year anniversary | Photo by Dan Gottesman
The Philly Drum Project has announced a One Year Anniversary show at World Cafe Live on April 23rd.  The local organization began as a monthly hosted seminar called Beats, Brews & Banter with the intention of creating a forum for drummers in the Philadelphia area to share gear, shows and lessons with each other (past hosts include Eric Slick, Chuck Treece and Tim Arnold).  After finding success with the program, The Philly Drum Project is now in the midst of fundraising for its one-day summer seminar geared towards high school students called DrumPhil.  For the Anniversary show, Founder and Director Ryan Krump has invited a number of musicians to take part including a jazz trio led by Philly native Ari Hoenig, percussion duo Loop 2.4.3 from Brooklyn and University of the Arts’ School of Music Drum Department chair Rob Brosh with Will Alpers.  Tickets and information for the all-ages event can be found here.  Student discount tickets are available.  Below, watch a video of the Drum Project’s November 2012 meetup featuring Dr. Brosh and his students.