Hank Hehmsoth Narrative Hank Hehmsoth is an exceptional person, an accomplished jazz pianist, a composer of high skill and wonderful imagination, and a well-rounded musician deeply interested in the music and culture of many parts of the world. As well as teaching jazz piano, arranging, and composition at the Texas State University School of Music, he is also the resident expert and manager for technology applications to music. Hank pursues and develops new projects with energy and imagination. His recent work has seen great success. His profile and his intellectual and creative potential are perfectly suited to the goals and values of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly / Creative Activities. COMPOSITIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS From his selection as MacDowell Norton Stevens Fellow in Composition 2012, to his National Endowment for the Arts NEA Fellowship in Jazz Composition 1979, Hank’s career spans over three decades, with a comprehensive range of musical accomplishments. He is honored for the spirit of his work and the importance to the world community of artists. With over 100 individual compositions, he presents a social context in his music embodying a compelling consciousness for music to reflect positively on our place in a global community. Hank expresses this well in his mission statement, “I am out to create a new, signature American sound, from a synthesis of contemporary art music, jazz, and world music, with a global approach and unique blend of influences, that gives my music a brand, its own distinctive place in the international scene.” “I wish to push my music in new directions, and continue focusing on socially engaged programming." In the last five years, Hank has pursued this goal. Hank’s newest work “Three Shades of Blue” 2012 is commissioned by the internationally renowned Kandinsky Trio, and will be premiered at the Guest Artist Series and Texas State University Common Experience theme for 2012-2013: “A Global Odyssey: Exploring Our Connections to the Changing World," Mysterium for New Music, Evans Auditorium, April 16, 2013, and a 2nd performance at Austin Community College, Northridge Campus on April 17. Hank is one of 25 composers selected for The Kandinsky Trio 25 x 25 Anniversary Project, with performances in New York, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. Hank has a DVD Project “Lady Bird Johnson – birth, life, state and national contributions” 2013 with his compositions recorded and commissioned for the U.S. National Park Service and ©Western National Parks Association, and which feature performances by the Texas country swing band Asleep at the Wheel. Two debut concerts of six new jazz ensemble arrangements 2013 have been commissioned by the US Army School of Music TRADOC- Training and Doctrine Command in Williamsburg, Virginia. Hank is the special guest pianist, performing his arrangements with an eight piece jazz octet in downtown historic Williamsburg Music Under the Stars concert series, May 22, 2013, and at the U.S. Army School of Music, Virginia Beach, VA May 23. Hank will also present a master class and speech - Army School of Music 2013 speaking about performance careers and motivation. Hehmsoth was awarded a New Music USA Composer Assistance Program grant 2012, which facilitated the project-based First Public Performance of his composition “Carlos' n Charlie's” 2011, published by Drop 6 Media, Inc., with additional funding and support in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division. It premiered April 17, 2012 at the worldwide 15th
Annual Inside Out Steelband Festival at One World Theatre in Austin. Hank’s composition “Freedom STOMP” 2012 was written specifically for the Texas State University Common Experience theme for 2011-2012: "Freedoms: The First Amendment," and debuted at the Mysterium for New Music, Evans Auditorium, Apr 12, 2012 and was performed and directed by Hank’s 10 piece ensemble H Project. Hank received a MacDowell Fellowship in music composition 2011, for the composition, "Two Desert Dances" 2010, a jazz and string ensemble piece featuring live performance with 60-year-old recordings of Native American dance from Taos Pueblo, the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The recordings were researched and developed by Hank from the John Donald Robb Archive of Southwestern Music, University of New Mexico, and his research was featured in the Texas State Hillviews magazine 2012 article “The Creation Myth” by writer Billi London-Gray. Hank’s string quartet “X-trusions - a déjà vu in 4D” 2009 received the First Place Award National Association of Composers USA, Texas Competition” 2010. NACUSA is one of the oldest organizations of composers in the U.S. The piece was performed during the International Joint Conference on Latin-American and Modern Music. Hank was awarded a JCOI – Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute Special Recognition 2010 for "Theme from Carlos' n Charlie's" 2010 by The Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University, Affiliate of the ACO American Composers Orchestra. Highlights from his earlier work include the original musical for theater "Walk With Me" 1996. Director and playwright Melba Martinez created and produced the original musical play with music and lyrics by Hank Hehmsoth, a play dealing with the medieval practice of walking religious labyrinths as an ancient meditation tool, and premiered at Mary Mooden Theater, Austin, Texas. Ballet Austin commissioned "Ritú Del Sol Andes: Diem" 1996 – a ballet of world music for Andean Flutes and Tribal drums, performed by Kinesis Dance/Theatre Project. Hank wrote the feature length movie score "Scary Movie" 1995 Erickson/Brunson Productions which won 1st Place at the Worldfest International Film Festival. As a professional arranger Hank has arranged for national touring Broadway shows, including "Jesus Christ Superstar" 2001 with performances by Broadway Across America. Hank has over 140 individual arrangements. PERFORMING ARTIST As a performing keyboard artist and director of the H Project ensemble, Hank has remarkably played over 10,000 individual performances, from international, national, state and regional area performance, and from classical to jazz to pop/rock, as well as Broadway, concert tour music, nightclubs, and symphony. Hank is pianist with the ©GRAMMY nominated jazz group Times Ten (CD Caffeine Dreams 2011 Fable Records) and was the featured band at the International SXSW - South By SouthWest Music Festival Jazz Showcase 2013 in Austin. Hank is also pianist with the contemporary jazz group Invisible Designs and performed at the 4th Annual International Jazz Education Network Conference 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Hank was a featured performer at the Eddie Durham Celebration / Hill Country Jazz Festival 2013 with Count Basie lead tenor saxophonist Doug Lawrence, and NEA Jazz Master Dan Morgenstern. He was guest performer at the 3rd Annual Texas State Trombone Symposium - Conn/Selmer Jazz Solo Competition 2013. Hank represented the Texas State University School of Music and was guest artist at the Instituto Profesional Projazz, Santiago and Valparaíso, Chile, South America 2012. Hank and Times Ten presented the First Public Performance of "Still Hard Times 10" at the Eighteenth Annual JAZZ AT ST. JAMES' Concert Series 2012, funded and
supported by the UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement celebrating Texas tenor saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman. Hank and UT classical pianist Anton Nel performed in Austin at the Seton Breast Cancer Center charity fundraiser 2012. Times Ten performed an afternoon Sunday Concert at the Domain 2012, sponsored in part by the City of Austin. Hank performed a Jazz Duet Texas State Guest Artist Series Concert 2012 with James Walker, Flute, Principal Flute in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Hank performed with the Austin Symphony Stardust Orchestra 2012 at RiverBend Centre, and performs twice yearly with the Austin Symphony Big Band Concert in the Park Series 2012/2011, In its tenth summer season, these free ensemble concerts take place in the Long Center Hartman Concert Park. A gift from the Hartman Family Foundation, these concerts are presented to the Austin community in thanks for its continued, generous support. Hank was guest artist for a Faculty Artist Series Concert Performance 2012 with the Russell Haight quartet at Texas State. Hank was a featured performer at the Hill Country Jazz Festival 2012 with Guggenheim winner Rufus Reid and NEA Jazz Master Dan Morgenstern. Hank’s band, H Project, was featured at the International SXSW Music Festival Jazz Showcase 2011. Hank performed with guest artist Moises Paiewonsky, trombone, for the Faculty Artist Series 2011 Texas State. During two Christmas seasons, Hank performed with nationally recognized NY vocalist Allan Harris A Jazz Christmas 2010/2009 at One World Theatre, Austin. Hank has presented the “A Night of” series of concerts with his band H Project at Texas State. They include A Night at the Elephant with special guest Bob Mintzer 2010, A Night of West Coast Jazz 2009, A Night of Latin Jazz 2008, and A Night of Chick Corea Jazz 2007. Hank is a Broadway show performer with 20 years of performances, including Blonde Ambition 2010, Hello Dolly 2009, and Chorus Line 2009, and Beauty and the Beast 2007 at the PAC, Performing Arts Center, Austin. Hank has a long performance association with the ©GRAMMYs beginning as a member of the ©GRAMMY winning group Christopher Cross 1981, winning 5 ©GRAMMYs. He is currently a member of the ©GRAMMY nominated band Times Ten 2011, nominated for the 2011 recording Caffeine Dreams. Hank is a lifetime Voting Member for the ©GRAMMY Awards. Hank performed a Lady Bird Johnson Concert 1997 with compositions written especially for her at the Texas White House in Johnson City, Texas. As a Warner Communications professional tour musician Hank performed with Christopher Cross (5 years), Fleetwood Mac “Tusk”, The Eagles “The Long Run”, and Bonnie Raitt in national tours of 200 cities. As member of Christopher Cross, the group won an Academy Award© “Best Song” 1982 Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)". Hank performed with legendary jazz saxophonist Joe Henderson on live television at Antone’s 1986 in Austin. He was in the studio band for two seasons of Continental Club Live Simulcast Radio/TV 1989. Hank Hehmsoth has televised performances at the national level including “David Letterman Show” CBS 1990, “20/20” ABC 1989, “On The Road With Charles Kuralt” ABC 1989, “Late Night with Tom Snyder” NBC, 1988, “Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack” ABC, 1988, “Solid Gold” – 5 episodes syndicated, 1986. Noteworthy national performances include “Frank Sinatra” 1987, “Bob Hope” 1984, “Red Skelton” 1985, “Steve Allen” 1993, “Bob Newhart” 1994, New York “Radio City Music Hall” 1984, Los Angeles “Hollywood Bowl” 1985, Los Angeles “Greek Theater” 1984, Orlando “Disney World” 1983, NYC “The Bottom Line” 1986, LA “The Roxy” 1986, Las Vegas “The Sands” 1987, Lake Tahoe “Caesar's Palace” 1987, and Austin “Frank Erwin Center” 1989.
RESEARCH PROJECT AT TEXAS STATE Hank is founder and President of HPPAA - H Project Performing Arts Association 2011, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Texas. The mission of H Project is to continually refresh and envision the contemporary, jazz, and world music experience. H Project fulfills its mission through commissioning, performing, presenting, recording and publishing contemporary music, and collaborating with, mentoring and encouraging other artists. As Chairman of the Board, Hank, with board members, Dr. Thomas Clark (Director of the School of Music), and Dr. Keith Winking, (Director of Jazz), are developing an Eddie Durham Project / Texas State University Research Foundation with Evy Gonzales, Director of Research Development, Office of the Associate VP for Research to augment the stature and media/audience awareness of the Eddie Durham Festival at Texas State. Dan Morgenstern is an NEA Jazz Master, a recipient of the nation's highest honor in jazz, and has done distinctive research on Durham. The project includes National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, and The Copland Fund grants to promote concert tours, with the Eddie Durham All-Star Big Band, and to produce a DVD of the history and music of Eddie Durham. GUGGENHEIM PROJECT - HAITI BENEFIT CONCERT Hank Hehmsoth is composing a Latin Romance piece written for orchestra, steel drum ensemble, and jazz quartet and will explore the 2010 Haiti disaster and serve as reminder of how much the Haitian people still need our help. Sean Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund have signed on as supporters, and scheduled to premiere during the 2014-2015 Austin Symphony Orchestra concert season. The piece will be performed by the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the H Project jazz ensemble, alongside the world-class steel drum ensemble, The Knights of Steel, which in April 2012 debuted Hank’s piece "Theme from Carlos' n Charlie's". The project is timely in several important ways. First, the element of Latin music will be representative of the cultural impact of the changing demography of Texas, the Southwest, and the nation. Second, the planned combination of musical mediums brings together ensembles representing classical music, American jazz, and the Afro-Cuban sounds of the Caribbean in what will be a fascinating blend. The three particular groups committed to this performance are first-class professional groups. Finally, the social context of the music represents a compelling consciousness for music to reflect positively on our place in a global community. Hank expresses this well in his mission statement, “creating a new, signature American sound from a synthesis of contemporary art music, jazz, and world music . . . a global approach to music, along with a unique blend of influences . . . to continue focusing on socially engaged programming”. As a highly skilled jazz musician, Hank is fluent and impressive as an improviser. He brings that same exploratory spirit to his composed works, a spirit of discovery of possibilities rather than a fulfilling of formulas. Hank is one of those creative musicians who sees and lives an interconnected continuum of possibilities in his music making. Now is a time in our global community when bridges of understanding and appreciation between cultures are essential to world peace and the survival of civilization. As pretentious as it may be to claim that the arts can play such a role, Hank Hehmsoth’s project is exactly what is needed at the ground level of culture. He is uniquely and powerfully equipped to carry this out.
RECORDINGS As a studio musician Hank Hehmsoth has recorded dozens of albums, soundtracks, a national McDonald’s commercial, and PBS Austin City Limits. His latest cd project debuts the contemporary fusion jazz band “Invisible Designs” 2013 and features the great Count Basie vocalist Carmen Bradford. He recorded a PBS/KLRU TV documentary "Wildflowers" 2011. He is a member of Times Ten, with a Grammy© nominated cd “Caffeine Dreams” 2011 on Fable Records. Hank plays piano on two recorded songs with Malford Milligan, blues singer, and voted Best Male Vocalist by the Austin Music Awards 2010. He recorded commercially released cds with international German pop star Ulli Möhring – "Leben" 2010, "T.U.N. " 2009, Cirque du Soleil's “Delirium” 2006, “Austin City Limits” Title/Credits 1995-2006, the Microsoft game DVD “Casino” 2001, and the award winning Joe Scruggs children’s album “Late Last Night” 1981. As a music producer Hank Hehmsoth, owner Music Design Group® 1986, has produced and recorded film scores, documentaries, a ballet, an original musical play, television themes, underscoring for television, and national and local television ads and radio spots. His own cd label has 8 cds of live and studio recordings of his band H Project. AWARDS, HONORS, RECOGNITIONS Hank is selected as the MacDowell Norton Stevens Fellow in Composition 2012. He is selected as a Fulbright Specialist 2012 in music composition and jazz improvisation. He was awarded a New Music USA Composer Assistance Program grant 2012. He received a MacDowell Fellowship 2011 in music composition. Hank was Runner-Up Texas State University Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities 2011. Hank won 1st Place NACUSA – National Association of Composers, USA, Texas Composition Competition 2010. He was selected for a JCOI – Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute Special Recognition 2010. Hank received a NARAS National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. Certificate of Appreciation 2010. Hank was the Austin City Council’s Live Music Capital of the World Honoree 1996. The Austin American Statesman /Austin Critics Table Awards awarded Hank Best Musical Director 1995. He received 1st Place at the Worldfest International Film Festival 1995. As member of Christopher Cross, he won an Academy Award© 1982, and 5 ©GRAMMYs 1981. He was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts NEA Fellowship in Jazz Composition 1979. And Hank received a Jazz Performance award from Downbeat Magazine 1979. LECTURES, PRESENTATIONS, PRESS Hank will present a master class and speech at the Army School of Music 2013 at Virginia Beach, VA. He conducted master class/clinics at the Instituto Profesional Projazz 2012 in Santiago, Chile. He presented a seminar for the NARAS National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. 2010 ©GRAMMY IN THE SCHOOLS in Austin. Each year he performs in Jazz Master Classes with guest artists at the School of Music. Hank was the subject of a University Star Feature Article and Interview 2012 “Multi-talented musician, performer teaches passion for music” by Xander Peters. And Hank’s composition “Two Desert Dances” was featured in the Texas State Hillviews magazine 2012 article “The Creation Myth” by writer Billi LondonGray.
Published on Apr 15, 2013
Hehmsoth is an accomplished jazz pianist, a composer of high skill and wonderful imagination, and a well-rounded musician deeply interested...