Ari Hoenig

Ari Hoenig

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50 age

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Birthplace

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Ari Hoenig is a jazz drummer, composer, and educator, known for his dynamic and versatile style. His innovative approach to drumming involves exploring the melodic potential of the drum set, often using sticks, mallets, and even his own body to alter the pitch of the drums in solo performances. Hoenig began playing in New York in the mid-1990s, working with groups such as the Jean Michel Pilc Trio, Kenny Werner Trio, Chris Potter Underground, Kurt Rosenwinkel Group, Joshua Redman Elastic Band, and Jazz Mandolin Project. He has released numerous albums, both as a solo artist and with his groups, including The Ari Hoenig Quartet, Punk Bop Band, and the Ari Hoenig Trio, and regularly performs at Smalls Jazz Club in New York. In addition to his performance career, Hoenig is an educator, teaching at both New York University and The New School, creating online courses for Masterclass and authoring several books on drumming technique and rhythm.


In 2013 Ari Hoenig and his quartet won the BMW Welt (World) award, an international competition for best band led by a drummer. Ari Hoenig writes a regular column for Modern Drummer Magazine. Ari Hoenig's 2016 album "The Pauper and the Magician" was conceived as a soundtrack to the stories he told his two small children.

Early Life

Born in 1973 in Philadelphia, Ari Hoenig grew up in a family of musicians. His father was a conductor and classical singer, while his mother was a pianist and violinist. At the age of 4, Hoenig started learning the piano and violin, but by the time he turned 12, he had shifted his attention to the drums. He explored rock and classical drumming and began playing jazz in high school. Even before his graduation, Hoenig was already performing in jazz clubs around Philadelphia. He pursued a music degree at the University of North Texas and played with the prestigious "One O'Clock" Lab Band. However, his desire to be closer to New York led him to transfer to William Patterson College in New Jersey in 1995. Hoenig soon found himself playing with Shirley Scott's group and eventually moved to Brooklyn, where he played with various jazz groups.