"Eric Hofbauer has become a significant force in Boston's improvised-music scene," declares Stereophile's David R. Adler. "His aesthetic evokes old blues, Americana, Tin Pan Alley, bebop, and further frontiers. There's a rule-breaking spirit but also an impeccable rigor, a foundation of sheer chops and knowledge, that put Hofbauer in the top tier of guitarists," he writes.
Hofbauer has been an integral member of Boston's jazz scene as a musician, bandleader, organizer and educator for the past twenty years. He has performed and recorded alongside such notable collaborators as Han Bennink, Roy Campbell, Jr., John Tchicai, Garrison Fewell, Cecil McBee, Steve Swell and Matt Wilson.
Hofbauer is perhaps best known for his solo guitar work featured in a trilogy of solo guitar recordings (American Vanity, American Fear and American Grace). Of the trilogy, Andrew Gilbert of The Boston Globe writes, "No other guitarist in jazz has developed a solo approach as rigorous, evocative, and thoughtful as Hofbauer.
Hofbauer has earned critical acclaim for his work in a variety of musical projects, including recordings with the Garrison Fewell's Variable Density Orchestra, The Pablo Ablanedo Octet(o), Charlie Kohlhase's Explorer's Club, and The Blueprint Project with Han Bennink among others. His newest group is the Eric Hofbauer Quintet. The EHQ preforms Hofbauer's jazz arrangements of groundbreaking 20th century pieces which he describes as "prehistoric jazz." These arrangements celebrate the common ground between modern jazz and the works of Stravinsky, Messiaen and Ives by using the shared rhythmic and harmonic concepts of the 20th century modernists as a bridge to postmodern jazz improvisation. In November of 2014 the EHQ recordings Prehistoric Jazz Volume 1 (The Rite of Spring) and Volume 2 (Quartet for The End of Time) were featured on NPR's Fresh Air by noted jazz writer Kevin Whitehead.
Along with teaching jazz history at Emerson, he also teaches at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in the Jazz and Contempory Music Graduate Dept. Hofbauer has also taught jazz history and other courses at Wellesley College, Clark University, and the University of Rhode Island. In 2009, he was honored with the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship in Music Composition.
M.M., New England Conservatory