Ari Hoenig

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Ari Hoenig
Ari Hoenig at Moers Festival, June 2006, Germany
Background information
Born (1973-11-13) November 13, 1973 (age 44)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Drums
Years active 2000–present
Labels Smalls, Dreyfus, Chesky, Motéma, Lyte
Associated acts One O'Clock Lab Band, Jazz Mandolin Project

Ari Hoenig (born November 13, 1973) is an American jazz drummer, composer, and educator.


Hoenig was born in Philadelphia to a vocalist father and violinist mother. He was exposed to classical and other music at an early age. He played both piano and violin, then rock and metal drums as a teen before settling into jazz. He attended Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts in summer 1990. He attended the University of North Texas College of Music in 1992 for three years and was a member of the highly regarded One O'Clock Lab Band. In 1995 he transferred to William Paterson College in New Jersey and moved to New York a year later.

In 2000, he produced his first solo drum album, Time Travels (2000) and his second The Life Of A Day 2002, on which he explores the melodic possibilities of the drum set. The Ari Hoenig Quartet was formed at the end of 2002 and featured Jacques Schwarz-Bart on tenor sax, Jean-Michel Pilc on piano, and Matt Penman on bass. They released two records on the Smalls Records label: The Painter (2004) and the DVD Kinetic Hues (2005). In 2006 Ari signed a multi record deal with Dreyfus Records and released his first record for them called Inversations (2006) which featured Jean Michel Pilc and Johannes Weidenmueller.

Bert's Playground (2008), Ari's second record for Dreyfus, features Ari's Punk Bop Band joined by Chris Potter. Ari chose his Punk Bop Band to make the live record Punk Bop Live at Smalls that was released on the Smalls Live label in 2010 and features Will Vinson on alto, Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar, fellow Jazz Mandolin Project alumni, Danton Boller on bass and Tigran Hamasyan as a special guest. A year later (2011).

Ari's Quartet with Tigran Hamasyan, Gilad Hekselman, Orlando le Fleming and Chris Tordini released Lines of Oppression on the Naïve label. In 2016, Ari Released 'The Pauper and the Magician' on AH-HA Records with his quintet with Shai Maestro on piano, Gilad Hekselman on guitar, Tivon Pennicott on Sax and Orlando Le Fleming on bass.

Besides the quintet, Ari leads 2 other groups which play his original music, the Ari Hoenig Nonet and Trio. The Nonet performs Ari's original compositions arranged by Noam Wiesenberg and features various other players in the New York area. The trio is with Gilad Hekselman and Orlando le Flemming and has toured extensively in Europe, Japan and South America. He co-leads a variety of projects including Pilc, Moutin, Hoenig ("the three headed monster"), jazz electronica project "Nasty Factorz" with Gael Horellou and various duo's with Chris Potter, Edmar Casteneda and Dan Weiss.


In 2013 Ari won the prestigious BMW Welt (World) award in Munich, an international competition for best band led by a drummer. [1]


  • Jazzheads: avant wot not (1k recordings,1999) [2]
  • James Hurt, Dark grooves and mystical rhythms (Blue Note, 1999)
  • Time Travels (CD Baby, 2003, 1k recordings, 2000)
  • The Life of a Day (Ah-Ha, 2002)
  • Jean Michel Pilc, Welcome Home (Dreyfus, 2002)
  • The Painter (Smalls, 2004)
  • Kenny Werner, Peace (Half note, 2004)
  • Kinectic Hues (Smalls Records, 2005) dvd video
  • Tigran Hamasyan, World passion (Nocturne, 2006)
  • Gilad Hekselman, Split life (Smalls, 2006)
  • Inversations (Dreyfus, 2007)
  • Jazz Side of the Moon: Music of Pink Floyd (Chesky, 2008)
  • Bert's Playground (Dreyfus, 2008)
  • Introducing Joris Roelofs (Material, 2008)
  • Punkbop: Live at Smalls (Smalls, 2010)
  • Pilc Moutin Hoenig: Threedom (Motéma, 2011)
  • Lines of Oppression (Naïve, 2011)
  • Shahin Novrasli, Bayati (BEE JAZZ, 2014)
  • Pauper and the Magician (Lyte, 2016)[3]

Educational materials[edit]

As an educator, Ari teaches privately and is on faculty at New York University and The New School for Social Research in New York. He gives clinics and lectures at music schools and universities worldwide.

In collaboration with bassist Johannes Weidenmueller, Ari released Intro to Polyrhythms Vol 1, and Metric Modulations, Expanding and Contracting Time within Form Vol 2. (Mel Bay 2009, 2012) [4] [5]

In 2011, Ari released Systems Book 1, Drumming Technique and Melodic Jazz Independence (Alfred Publishing), and DVD Melodic Drumming (2011) on [6] [7]

In 2014, Ari released the 3 part video entitled Rhythm Training, about time and rhythmic vocabulary.[8] In 2017, Ari released two video's entitled Mastering Odd times and Drums: Jazz coordination.[9]

The Ari Hoenig Songbook is a book with the lead sheets of all of Ari's compositions.


  1. ^ "Ari won the Prestigious BMW Welt award". BMW. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Ari Hoenig | Album Discography | 1k Recordings". ILK. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Ari Hoenig | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Mel Bay | Intro to Polyrhythms". Mel Bay. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Mel Bay | Metric modulation". Mel Bay. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Alfred | Systems Book 1 - Drumming Technique". Alfred. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "Jazz Heaven |Melodic Drumming video". Jazz Heaven. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "My Music Masterclass |Rhythm Training". My Music Masterclass. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "My Music Masterclass |Rhythm Training". My Music Masterclass. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 

External links[edit]