Derrick Hodge

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Derrick Hodge
Born (1979-07-05) July 5, 1979 (age 43)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresJazz, hip hop, urban contemporary
Occupation(s)Musician, record producer, Composer
Instrument(s)Bass guitar, double bass
Years active2000–present
LabelsBlue Note

Derrick Hodge (born July 5, 1979) is a composer, musical director, bandleader, producer bassist and advocate. To date he has been awarded two Grammys, named a Sundance Composer Fellow, received a Motif Award; one of world's highest honors for Child Advocacy, and his playing on Common's BE has been recognized as one of top 20 basslines in Hip Hop History.

Hodge has played on some of music’s most iconic albums, written and performed orchestral arrangements and compositions, scored film and television work and created evocative sonic installations for prestigious cultural institutions, all alongside his work as an activist in the field of emerging young musicians.

As a performer, Hodge has founded and played in bands and groups as diverse and as influential as R+R=Now, the Robert Glasper Experiment and The Blue Note All Stars, as a producer he has collaborated with icons including Quincy Jones, Don Was and Common and as Musical Director he has worked with luminaries including Yasiin Bey, Nas, and notably held the position with Maxwell from 2009 to 2019. Growing up just outside Philadelphia, Hodge’s talent was quickly recognized by members of the city’s Neo-soul movement, and whilst still in college he became the bass player and Musical Director of choice for pioneers including Jill Scott, Maxwell, Floetry, Nas, Common, James Posyer and Musiq Soulchild. Simultaneously he was forging a career in jazz circles with other musicians including Terence Blanchard, Donald Byrd, Mulgrew Miller and Bootsie Barnes.

As a Blue Note Recording Artist Hodge has released three critically acclaimed solo projects: Live Today (2013), The Second (2016), and Color Of Noize (2020)

In 2014 Hodge became the first Black composer to compose Hip Hop for the National Symphony Orchestra when he acted as Orchestral Arranger and Music Director for the iconic event “20th anniversary celebration of Illmatic which saw Nas perform the album with the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Steven Reineke. The event - which was named by FENDER as one of the top moments in Hip Hop history - was also the first time Hip Hop was ever performed by the National Symphony Orchestra and at the Kennedy Center.


Hodge was signed to Blue Note Records after meeting record producer and Blue Note president Don Was in September 2011. On August 6, 2013, his solo album, Live Today, was released with guest appearances by Common ("Live Today"), vocalist Alan Hampton ("Holding Onto You"), Robert Glasper ("Live Today"), Chris Dave, Mark Colenburg, Travis Sayles, Keyon Harrold, and Aaron Parks. He has also worked with Floetry, Osvaldo Golijov, Anthony Hamilton, Gerald Levert, Donnie McClurkin, James Moore, Mos Def, Musiq Soulchild, Q-Tip, Jill Scott, Timbaland, and Kanye West. He has toured and recorded with Clark Terry, Mulgrew Miller, Terell Stafford, and Terence Blanchard.[1]

He appeared on Flow[2] and A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (2007), which were nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning one for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. He also appeared on rapper Common's albums Be and Finding Forever, which won a Grammy Award. Hodge was musical director for R&B singer Maxwell from 2009 to 2013, and was featured as bassist on Maxwell's BLACKsummers'night, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums as well as winning a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album in 2010. Hodge won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album in 2013 with the Robert Glasper Experiment for Black Radio and in 2023 with Black Radio 3.

Hodge was a contributing composer for the musical score of When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, an HBO documentary produced by Spike Lee, aired in August 2006, as well as choral arranger for the ending credits of Miracle at St. Anna also directed by Lee. He was sole composer of the score for the documentary film Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans[3] directed by Dawn Logsdon, written by Lolis Eric Elie and released in 2008. Other film credits include music composer for The Recruiter directed by Edet Belzberg, The Black Candle directed by M. K. Asante, Jr., as well as scores for director and playwright David E. Talbert. "Infinite Reflections" was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and arranged for small brass ensemble


As leader[edit]

  • Live Today (Blue Note, 2013)
  • The Second (Blue Note, 2016)
  • Color of Noize (Blue Note, 2020)

As group[edit]

Blue Note All Stars

  • Our Point of View (Blue Note, 2017)[2CD]

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ Ouellette, Dan (4 November 2006). "Blanchard goes with the flow". Billboard. p. 88.
  2. ^ Olson, Paul (6 June 2005). "Terence Blanchard: Flow (2005)". All About Jazz. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Faubourg Treme - The Untold Story of Black New Orleans". Retrieved 2011-07-10.

External links[edit]