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Holly Hofmann


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Trying to define the jazz flutist is like trying to define the word jazz. The public’s knowledge of the flute as a jazz instrument seems to range between the acquired taste of the avant-garde and the abyss known as pop-jazz. Holly Hofmann clearly defines the jazz flute. Her robust tone is the result of a rich classical background. Critics have labeled Holly the most authoritative, swinging flutist in jazz today. In addition to performing throughout the world, she also composes, conducts clinics and workshops, and books a number of jazz concert series.

Born near Cleveland, Ohio, Holly at five began playing standards with her father, a jazz guitarist. Early exposure to jazz and popular standards would blossom into a love for straight-ahead jazz, but her parents were insistent that she have a solid background in classical technique. When she turned seven her formal education began with lessons with Walter Mayhall and soon thereafter from the first flutist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Maurice Sharp. Holly’s music education continued through high school at Interlochen Arts Academy. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado. During the summers Holly went to New York to study with Frank Wess and Slide Hampton and began sitting in at jam sessions and learning the necessary jazz standard repertoire. It was their encouragement that convinced her to try to have a career in jazz flute.

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