Holly Hofmann’s first memories as a musician are some of her fondest. At age 5 she would spend evenings playing a child’s flutophone, accompanying her father, a jazz guitarist, on standards from the Great American Songbook.
It was an auspicious beginning for the woman who, after years of performing in classical ensembles, would find equally satisfying partnerships with such renowned jazzmen as Ray Brown, Frank Wess, James Moody, Kenny Barron and hundreds of other top names in the music.
Today, Holly Hofmann has taken the flute from its middle-of-the-orchestra origins and made it a front-line instrument in jazz. She has earned the praise and respect of musicians and jazz aficionados for her bluesy, bebop-based improvisations and technical prowess on an instrument that many once regarded as definitely not a jazz horn.
Hofmann has proven them wrong and critics have labeled her the most authoritative, swinging flutist -- male or female -- in jazz today.
Born in Cleveland, Holly always had her head in music. Although jazz fans themselves, her parents insisted she have a solid foundation in classical technique. After high school at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, she gained her formal education through studies with the Cleveland Orchestra’s principal flutist Maurice Sharp. She then earned her bachelor’s in music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and her graduate degree from the University of Northern Colorado.
Hofmann has also served as music director of the Oregon Coast Jazz Party since 2007.