After graduating with a BA in Art History and Economics from Brown University in 1989, Heck moved to New York City in the early 90’s to pursue a career in music production. In 1993, Heck channeled his passion for alternative music into a fight to raise awareness and funds to combats the AIDS epidemic both locally in New York City and across the affected world. In this endeavor, Heck partnered with fellow Brown alumni Chris Mundy (a Rolling Stone Senior Writer) and Jessica Kowal (a freelance writer for Newsday) to produce the album No Alternative for the Red Hot Organization (RHO).
The Red Hot Organization
Heck’s first RHO compilation album, No Alternative, featured Nirvana, the Beastie Boys, Pavement, Smashing Pumpkins, and Uncle Tupelo. This album received an A+ by Entertainment Weekly, and featured original tracks and covers from bands that went on to define the alternative rock scene of the 90s. An MTV special and home video featured live performances, music videos, and information about AIDS for an audience otherwise untargeted by other AIDS organizations.
Following the commercial and critical success of No Alternative, Heck became a permanent producer at the Red Hot Organization. Since then, he has been involved in the making of nearly a dozen Red Hot albums including:
- Red Hot + Bothered (Kinetic/Reprise Records, 1995)
- Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip (TVT Records, 1996)
- Red Hot + Rio (Antilles / Verve Records, 1996)
- Red Hot + Rhapsody (Antilles / Verve Records, 1998)
- Red Hot + Indigo (RHO, 2002)
- Red Hot + Riot: The Music and Spirit of Fela Kuti (MCA, 2002)
- Dark Was The Night (4AD, 2009)
- Red Hot + Rio 2 (E1 Entertainment, 2011)
- Red Hot + Fela (Knitting Factory, 2013)
- Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell (Yep Roc Records, 2014)
Red Hot + Riot: The Music and Spirit of Fela Kuti honors the Nigerian musician and father of Afrobeat – Fela Anikulapo-Kuti — who died of AIDS in 1997. Riot features the musical talent of Blackalicious, Sade, Femi Kuti, Mix Master Mike, Macy Gray, D'Angelo, Kelis, Roy Hargrove, Res, Manu Dibango, and Dead Prez among others, and was listed as one of the top ten best albums of 2002 by the New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine, the Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
To date, Heck has helped RHO raise and distribute over $10 million for AIDS relief, including over a million dollars from the critically acclaimed album Dark Was The Night, an indie rock compilation Heck co-produced with the Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National.
Heck also co-produced a series of Red Hot themed live concerts that appeared as a part of The Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, including 2010's Red Hot + New Orleans LIVE, which saluted the music of the Crescent City in recognition of World AIDS Day (Dec 1) with part of the proceeds benefiting the New Orleans' AIDS Tasks Force. Directed by Grammy nominee Trombone Shorty, Red Hot + New Orleans featured Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins, Ledisi, Marc Broussard, Ivan Neville, Partners-N-Crime, Mannie Fresh, Roger Lewis, Phil and Keith Frazier, with video design by Yuki Nakajima and stage design by Alex Delaunay.
Rolling Stone refers to the Red Hot Organization as "The music industry's most successful AIDS-awareness group."  On the 20th of April 2013, as part of the annual internationally celebrated Record Store Day, No Alternative was released for the first time on vinyl as a special 20th anniversary edition LP. Stereogum lauded the album in a retrospective piece, saying that "it captures the American alternative scene at its commercial, cultural, and critical peak." In an interview with Radio New Zealand, Heck discussed the history of RHO and the anniversary of No Alternative, saying that the response from the musicians asked to contribute was "overwhelmingly positive" and that some artists even wrote songs specifically for the compilation.
Jujulele is Heck's music composing and production group. Jujulele collaborators have included members of The National, Antibalas, Joy Zipper, Ryad Kerbouz, Federico Fong, Julia Joseph and many others.
Jujulele's work includes:
- Composing the score to feature length documentary film "East of Havana", a film about 3 young rap artists in Cuba and their struggle for survival and self-expression. The film was produced by Charlize Theron and D+D Films and released by SonyBMG Films in 2007.
- An ongoing collaboration with British luxury shoe designer Beatrix Ong
- Composing music for clients such as PayPal and Intel
Heck worked on these successful albums:
- Shuggie Otis "Inspiration Information" (Luaka Bop, 2002)
- The National " Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers" (with Nick Lloyd and Peter Katis - Brassland, 2003)
- Fela Kuti "Underground Spiritual Game Mix" (with Chief Xcel of Blackalicous - Quannum Projects, 2004)
- Tim Maia"Nobody Can Live Forever/ Existential Soul" (Luaka Bop, 2011)
- "Africa U2" a project featuring African artists reinterpreting the songs of U2 (Shoufactory Records, 2007)
- "Rocknews Red Hot + Positive" By Matt Hendrickson, Rolling Stone, September 5, 1996