Born and raised in Germany, trained in New York City and now based in Canada, Juno-nominated jazz pianist and composer, Florian Hoefner, draws from a myriad of influences that cumulate in his unique brand of modern jazz. While he is being praised as a “composer-bandleader of insightful resolve” by the New York Times and a “harmonically daring pianist […] reaching toward new sonic territory” by Downbeat Magazine, Florian Hoefner keeps making his mark as an inventive creator and performer of exciting contemporary Jazz.
His latest record, “First Spring,” with his Canadian trio with Andrew Downing on bass and Nick Fraser on drums was released in September 2019 on Alma Records / Universal. The album features Florian’s arrangements of folk tunes from around the world alongside new original compositions. It was nominated for a 2021 Juno in the category Jazz Album of the Year: Group, and won “Instrumental Recording of the Year” and “Jazz Recording of the Year” at the 2020 East Coast Music Awards in Atlantic Canada.
With his quartet, the Florian Hoefner Group, he has released 3 albums on Origin Records that have received rave reviews around the globe. “Luminosity,” the latest release that features tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, has been described as a “starkly picturesque album […] that makes profound statements from quiet moments” by Downbeat, as “the real deal” by Jazz Journal (UK) and as a “total experience” by New York Jazz Record. It has been nominated as Jazz Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards 2017. The Group also received the Stingray Rising Star Award after their performance at the Montréal Jazz Festival 2015. Its busy touring scheduled has taken the group to North America, Europe and Australia so far, including a celebrated performance at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2019.
In September 2017 he released “Coldwater Stories” (Origin Records), his first ever solo piano album with 10 original compositions and improvisations. Exploring a new process that interleaves composed with freely improvised sections it has been described as “sublimely evocative music” by The WholeNote Magazine.
As a member of the Germany-based collective, Subtone, he has released 4 critically acclaimed albums on labels including ENJA Records and performed on 4 continents including festivals such as Jazz Baltica (Germany), ACACIA Jazz Festival (Ethiopia), Jazz in Situ (Ecuador) and Tremplin Jazz d’Avignon (France) where the group was awarded the jury and audience awards. Florian’s work as a sideman has led to numerous additional CD releases including a collaboration with guitarist, Kurt Rosenwinkel on Fresh Sound Records. He has shared the stage with the likes of Seamus Blake, Rich Perry, John Riley, trumpet virtuoso Jens Lindemann, and former New York Philharmonic clarinetist, Mark Nuccio.
A two-time winner of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, Hoefner’s compositions and arrangements can be heard on many commercial albums by artists including Till Brönner, Jasmin Tabatabai and Peter Fessler. His big band compositions have been performed by the New York Jazz Orchestra, the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra, the German Youth Jazz Orchestra and the DanJam Orchestra.
Florian initially began his musical studies in Bavaria, where he played the trumpet and accordion, in addition to piano. After obtaining his first degree in jazz piano from the University of Arts in Berlin, he was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to complete a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City where he studied with Jason Moran, Dave Liebman, and Garry Dial.
Since July 2014 Florian is a resident of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, where he now serves as Assistant Professor for Jazz Studies at Memorial University.