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Florian Hoefner

Biography

Pianist / Composer / Recording Artist

Born and raised in Germany, trained in New York City and now based in Canada, 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.

With the Florian Hoefner Group, he has released 3 albums on Origin Records that have received rave reviews around the globe. “Luminosity,” his latest release, 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. Featuring tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, this record has been his most ambitious project so far. It has been nominated as Jazz Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards 2017. With the quartet, he maintains a busy touring schedule that has included over 100 performances in Europe and North America to date. After their performance at the Montréal Jazz Festival 2015, Hoefner was awarded the Stingray Rising Star Award.

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.

His latest project is a trio with Toronto-based musicians, Andrew Downing on bass and Nick Fraser on drums. Their September 2019 debut album, “First Spring” on Alma Records features Florian’s arrangements of folk tunes from around the world alongside new original compositions.

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 Sounds Records. He has shared the stage with the likes of Seamus Blake, Rich Perry, John Riley, trumpet virtuoso Jens Lindemann, and 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 serves as Assistant Professor for Jazz Studies at Memorial University.