Two-time Grammy Award-winning bassist and Blue Note Recording Artist Derrick Hodge grew up right outside of Philadelphia in Willingboro, N.J. He started playing electric bass in the elementary school orchestra. On the suggestion of his high-school band teacher, Hodge continued his formal jazz education at Temple University. While still in college, Hodge played with such Philly greats as tenor saxophonist Bootsie Barnes and trumpeter Terrell Stafford. At the same time, Hodge reaped considerable session work with some of Philly’s finest modern R&B artists such as Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, and Floetry.
Mr. Hodge received his bachelor’s degree in music from Temple University’s Ester Boyer College of Music, where he studied jazz composition and performance. He studied acoustic and electric bass privately with Vince Fay and was involved in the Temple University Jazz Band and Small Ensemble conducted by Stafford. He was the first jazz major to participate in the Temple University Symphony Orchestra conducted byLuis Biava and New Music Chamber Orchestra.
Hodge has performed and/or recorded with, Q-Tip, Mos Def, Timbaland, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Gerald Levert, Common, Kanye West, Maxwell, Andre 3000, Sade, Terence Blanchard, Estelle, Ledisi, Tyrese, Terell Stafford, Donald Byrd, Bootsie Barnes, Kirk Franklin, Kenny Lattimore, Donnie McClurkin, John P. Kee and the New Life Community Choir, and more.
Live Today is Hodge’s debut record on Blue Note Records and signals a new journey with his solo career. The title alludes to his top guiding principle in creating his debut album, a stunning achievement that showcases the profound depth and breadth of his musicality. “This whole album was putting on my composer’s hat, but letting go and making sure that I’m giving people raw examples of how I feel on any given day,” he explains.
Even though Hodge has played with such jazz titans as pianist Mulgrew Miller and trumpeter (and label mate) Terence Blanchard, as well as R&B stars Jill Scott and Maxwell, the young bassist is probably best known for anchoring the Grammy award-winning Robert Glasper Experiment. Similar to how Glasper concocts a distinctive mélange of modern jazz, hip-hop, and R&B, Live Today also fuses those genres and more into something that’s potent and personal. However, it is no Experiment offshoot. Similarities aside, Live Today asserts a unique sound. Hodge credits Glasper, Blanchard and Miller with influencing his approach to band leading and being an honest musician. “The common denominator is that they all put me in situations where they said, ‘Be you,’”
Mr. Hodge’s most recent projects have included Co-Musical Director for the 2015 Triumph Awards, composing for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and writing for recent films Back to School Mom, and the 180 days Documentary Series. Additional films include Land of Opportunity, Black Candle, The Army Recruiter and Uneasy Listening. Early film work includes When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts in which he did additional writing and scoring, as well as Who the $%@ Is Jackson Pollock?, and Faubourg Treme: A Story of Black New Orleans.
Hodge has also created orchestrations with Common and Kanye West for Common’s album Finding Forever, which reached Billboard No.1. Hodge won Grammys in 2012 and 2014 with the Robert Glasper Experiment and continues to tour as the Musical Director for Maxwell as well as maintain his solo projects and touring, while working on his next album.
For more information contact Cem Kurosman at Blue Note Records
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