Just Duet 2
Grammy nominated composer, arranger and jazz pianist Bill Cunliffe is gathering nationwide attention with his innovative and swinging recordings and compositions He first fell under the influence of jazz by studying at Duke University with the great pianist Mary Lou Williams. He received his masters from the Eastman School of Music, and won several Down Beat Awards for his big band and orchestral pieces. After teaching at Central State University, in Wilberforce, Ohio, he toured as pianist and arranger with the Buddy Rich Big Band, and working with Frank Sinatra. He then played and toured with many legends of jazz, including Ray Brown, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, James Moody, and Joshua Redman. Currently, he plays with his own trio, his group Imaginacion, and duets with the great jazz flutist Holly Hofmann, with whom he has recorded five CD\'s. Bill was the 1989 winner of the $10,000 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Award, and has received stipends from the National Endowment for the Arts. His three albums for Warner/Discovery Records all charted in nationwide jazz polls. His books \'Jazz Keyboard Toolbox, \' and \'Jazz Piano Inventions\' published by Alfred Publications, are fast becoming standard reference books in jazz, and his big band compositions are published by Kendor Music, and the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press. His choral music is published by Santa Barbera Music Publishers. Bill is a Baldwin Pianos artist, and was Marian McPartland\'s guest on her famed \'Piano Jazz\' radio show in June \'98. As a composer and arranger, Bill has been performed by many orchestras, including the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Illinois Philharmonic, the Reading (PA) Symphony, and the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. Among his works are a three movement \'Romantic\' Fantasy for piano and orchestra, a festive overture, \'Viva Mexico,\' and numerous works for big band, orchestra, and choir. Recently, the Rodger Fox Big Band of New Zealand released a CD of Bill\'s jazz orchestra compositions. He is currently composer in residence at All Saints Episcopal Church, in Pasadena, California, and Associate Professor of Music at Cal State Fullerton. On the classical side, he performs his own distinctive arrangement of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," with orchestras, and performs with his group Trimotif, which he co leads with oboist Phoebe Ray, and featuring David Shostac on flute, often featuring his own works. Bill\'s latest projects include a groundbreaking audiophile recording, \'Live at Bernies\', with bassist Darek Oles and drummer Joe La Barbera done both to enhanced CD and to 12 inch/ 45 rpm vinyl (!!!) at the famous Bernie Grundman mastering facility in Hollywood for the Groove Note label. In addition, his latest, which spent a month in the #2 position in the JazzWeek radio polls is "Imaginacion" an album featuring his Latin Jazz Nonet, on Torii Records. The arrangement "Do It Again" on the CD was nominated for a Grammy in 2006. 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. After Holly moved from Colorado to San Diego in 1985 she began working with bassist Bob Magnusson and pianist Mike Wofford at the Horton Grand Hotel. Subsequently she booked a four night national jazz program there from 1989-1996, presenting hundreds of jazz artists including Diana Krall, Cassandra Wilson, Tommy Flanagan and Joe Henderson. It was during this time, in the early '90s that she began recording, and formed an important partnership with Los Angeles pianist Bill Cunliffe. The two toured festivals and chamber venues worldwide presenting both jazz and classical compositions in brilliantly seamless arrangements. They recorded Just Duet, Volume 1 and 2 as well as an organ trio with guitarist Frank Potenza and Duncan Moore, and Live at Birdland in a quartet with legendary bassist, Ray Brown and drummer, Victor Lewis. Holly and Ray began working in New York at the Village Vangard on a yearly basis in the mid 90s and in 2000, Brown began taking her on tours of the US and Europe as a guest with his trio. She credits Brown's support as one of the major turning points in her career and recalls that each performance with him was a learning experience. In 2000 Holly married pianist Mike Wofford, often working with him in a quartet setting with Brown, Peter Washington, Jeff Hamilton, Victor Lewis and Ben Riley. Of their 2004 release, Minor Miracle, George Carroll of Jazzreview writes, "virtual torrents of fresh, rhythmically and harmonically inventive ideas and melodies...The epitome of bebop." From 2002-06 Holly and Mike also toured and recorded with Flutology, an all-star sextet, featuring Frank Wess, Ali Ryerson and Hofmann on flutes with Wofford, Washington and Lewis. Norm Weinstein of All About Jazz called Flutology's performance in New York "singular and breathtaking." In addition to long associations with Bill Cunliffe, Frank Wess and Mike Wofford, she has worked with Slide Hampton, Houston Person, Mundell Lowe, James Moody, Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron, Ken Peplowski, John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Chuck Redd, Kevin Mahogany and Regina Carter, among many others. Currently residing in San Diego, Holly is Music Director for the Jazz in the Park Concert Series at the San Diego Museum of Art. She books or consults on several jazz parties and festivals including Jazz at Newport in Oregon, and Jazz in the City at the State Theater in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She and Mike have enjoyed a long association with the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla, CA where they have just recorded their first CD as a duo, Live at the Athenaeum, Volume 2 on Capri Records. The new CD will be released in 2007 and features Holly's first recorded performance on alto flute. She chose to record this project live with no amplification or effects, as if the listener was there in the front row. With ten recordings as a leader in the duo or quartet setting, Holly is working on recording her Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim with Brazilian rhythm section and string orchestra, a configuration she's taking this year to California, Arizona, Nevada, and New Zealand and France. Mike and Holly are also putting the finishing touches on another rhythm section/strings book of all Ellington/Strayhorn compositions. Taking the flute out of it's stereotypical role has always been Holly's main objective. Audiences and promoters alike are recognizing her as one of the premiere jazz flutists in the country. Phil Woods, while describing her performance at the Telluride Jazz Festival, said "Along with Hubert Laws, Holly is frankly the best jazz flute player today." She has become the standard by which the flute is being judged.