November 30, 8pm, LIT Millenium Theatre
Described by Dave Brubeck as “one of the most incredible pianists I’ve ever heard”, Grammy award-winning musician, composer and producer Laurence Hobgood makes a seasonal return to Ireland for a series of intimate performances in Counties Kerry, Limerick and Cork.
Well-known to music fans for his 20-year and on-going collaboration with singer and fellow Grammy-winner, Kurt Elling, Laurence will introduce Irish listeners to his extraordinary and multi-faceted talents, both as a composer-arranger and most importantly as a pianist of the highest musical order. Laurence has had a stellar career since moving to the city of Chicago in 1988. Hobgood was awarded three consecutive fellowships (90, 91 and 92) to perform in the Aspen Music festival where he played with many great artists including Gary Burton, Clark Terry and Bob Mintzer.
In 1993, he met Kurt Elling and their growing friendship evolved into a true collaboration which resulted in six albums for the iconic Blue Note label, all of which were Grammy-nominated. In 2001, Laurence won his first Grammy for his arranging on Flirting with Twilight. He has performed both with Elling and his own trio at Carnegie Hall; Lincoln Centre; Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts; Birdland, New York; the Barbican, London and the National Concert Hall, Dublin. He has also performed at the most prestigious festivals around the world including Montreux, North Sea, Newport and Cork. He has played and/or recorded with Larry Cornell, Mark Murphy, Buddy Guy, and Eddie Daniels, to name a few.
Laurence’s on-going collaboration with Kurt Elling has gone from strength to strength and has to date resulted in 10 albums, all of which Laurence has co-produced, co-written and arranged. An impressive body of work by any standards, but he hasn’t been idle when it comes to his solo work. Laurence has released five albums and has worked with such musical luminaries as Ernie Watts; seven-times Grammy winner, Paul Wertico; Kurt Rosenwinkle and Peter Erskine.
In 2012, Laurence collaborated with American Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky on a CD of music and poetry entitled Poem Jazz, which received rapturous reviews from music critics the world over. He is currently recording an album of original Christmas music, which he will be performing pieces from during his short Irish stay.
The great Marian McPartland once described Laurence Hobgood as “a pianist and composer of extraordinary talent and unusual ideas. This, coupled with a brilliant technique, makes his every performance a musical gem.” High praise indeed from a legend. Audiences in Ireland’s South-West will get their own change to hear and enjoy Laurence Hobgood this coming November in the Millennium Theatre.