Hirshfield studied under Ed Soph. He worked for the Joffrey Ballet in 1976-77 and then played with Mose Allison (1977–79). During the 1980s he worked with Red Rodney and Ira Sullivan (1981–85), Toshiko Akiyoshi (1986-89), and Bennie Wallace (1987–90). Alongside Fred Hersch and Steve LaSpina, he was a member of the trio Etc. during 1988-91. During this time he also played in a trio with Hersch and Michael Formanek. From 1990 he played with Harold Danko, played in Formanek's Wide Open Spaces project, and played again with LaSpina in a quartet setting. He also worked in a quartet with John Abercrombie and Andy LaVerne early in the 1990s. In the mid-1990s he played in a trio with Marc Copland and Dieter Ilg (1992–95), another trio with Tim Berne and Formanek (1993–94), and the Lan Xang ensemble with David Binney, Donny McCaslin, and Scott Colley (after 1995).
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With Paul Bley
- Notes on Ornette (SteepleChase, 1998)
With Pat Martino
- All Sides Now (Blue Note, 1997)
- Gary W. Kennedy, "Jeff Hirshfield". Grove Jazz online.