Born: October 22, 1976 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Grammy award winning saxophonist/composer/educator Mace Hibbard has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting and versatile saxophonists on the scene today. As one journalist succinctly commented, Hibbard is an artist who uses his technical mastery, compositional skills, and informed understanding of the jazz saxophone lineage, to create musical offerings that are truly unique.
Born and raised in Waco, Texas, early music lessons included piano and voice until settling on the saxophone at age ten. Mace’s firm grasp of the history of jazz and its standard repertoire comes from the gigs he played with his father - Dave Hibbard, a great trumpet player who was a staple in the Texas jazz scene for years - throughout his teen years. From there, he attended the University of Texas in Austin, where he earned a Bachelors degree in Musical Performance and a Masters degree in Jazz Studies. While in Austin, Mace developed as a composer and formed Odd Man Out, who released their self-titled debut on Viewpoint Records in 2000. In addition to his growing jazz career, it was during this time that Hibbard began developing his reputation as a outstanding performer in all genres, playing in ensembles as diverse as The Austin Symphony, singer-songwriter Drew Smith, The Creative Opportunity Orchestra, and The Stingers.
After 10 years of being one of the most sought after woodwind players in Austin, Mace relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in the summer of 2003 where he is continuing his reputation as a gifted soloist, and solid performer on all saxophones, flute, and clarinet. In 2008, the Mace Hibbard Quintet was selected to play at the Atlanta Jazz Festival as the winner of the Future of Jazz Competition. In 2009, Mace was asked to perform in the Battle Royale celebration concert at the Savannah Music Festival where he was a featured soloist alongside such jazz luminaries as the Marcus Roberts Trio, The Clayton Brothers, Terrell Stafford, Scotty Barnhart, Jeff Clayton, Wycliffe Gordon and Andre Hayward.
Beginning in 2005, Hibbard began his association with The Derek Trucks Band and Soul Stew Revival with Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. On select tours for the next five years, Mace was a featured soloist and horn arranger for the two bands. This union culminated in Hibbard winning a 2010 Grammy Award for his playing and horn arrangements on Already Free.. He is also featured on the critically acclaimed live album, Roadsongs, released in 2010 by The Derek Trucks Band.
In 2007, he released his debut album as a leader, When Last We Met, featuring all original material and a lineup of Atlanta's finest musicians. Released to worldwide airplay, it amassed incredible reviews, with one critic declaring, Mace Hibbard's new CD grabbed me right from the git go. His writing is wonderful and his playing first class. One of the finest young alto players on the scene and he's just as impressive on soprano and tenor. The rest of the group is also first class. This is already on my list of year's best.
With Atlanta, Georgia as his home base, Hibbard's playing and compositions can be found on recordings by Melvin Jones, Yonrico Scott, Ben Tucker, The Joe Gransden Big Band, Jennifer Holliday, Trey Wright, Bryant Thompson, and Marlon Patton. He is also a featured saxophonist/composer on Atlanta Sax Allstars, which will be released by Hotshoe Records and will feature four of Atlanta's finest saxophonists. Continuing his standing as a all-around musician, Hibbard has performed throughout the United States and Europe, sharing the stage with Marcus Printup, The Temptations, The O'Jays, The Four Tops, Kenny Rogers, Wayne Newton, Frankie Avalon, Frankie Valli, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra, and rock bands Scrapmatic and Son Volt.
In addition to his impressive performance career, his standing as an educator is equally notable. Hibbard has served on the faculty of Georgia State University since 2005 where he an instructor of jazz saxophone and improvisation. He also was a professor of saxophone and jazz studies at Jacksonville State University from 2003-2010. Hibbard has served as a clinician and soloist at many Universities in the United States and Canada, with notable engagements at The University of Texas at Austin, Florida State University, Slippery Rock University, and The University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. In 2004, He published the first in a series of technical studies for the saxophone entitled “Scales and Patterns For Saxophone,Volume I, Major Scales and Intervals.”
Awards:2009 Grammy Award - Already Free - The Derek Trucks Band Tenor Saxophone/Horn Arrangements
- Joe Gransden - Internationally known trumpet player and vocalist
This cd showcases a truly excellent set of performances. As advertised, Hibbard speaks with an authoritative voice that acknowledges the best traditions of jazz saxophone playing yet is fresh and inventive. With each tune Heriveaux, Leitch, Miller, Varnes, and Hibbard consistently generate and sustain a lively and engaging conversation that both informs and entertains.
- Dr. Jon Noffsinger - Professor of Saxophone & Jazz Studies - University of Alabama
When Last We Met is first rate in every sense of the word. Too often you play a recording just to fast forward to something that is remotely interesting. From the first note I was aware that this recording is how is SHOULD sound. The musicians, the compositions, the improvisations...they all say, we know what we are doing and we are in control...enjoy! Mace's sound is complex and full (on each saxophone) yet does not sound like formulaic...totally original! If I could hope to create a CD...this is what I would hope it would sound like!
- Paul Haar - Professor of Saxophone & Jazz Studies - University of Nebraska
Mace Hibbard's new CD grabbed me right from the git go. His writing is wonderful and his playing first class. One of the finest young alto players on the scene and he's just as impressive on soprano and tenor. The rest of the group is also first class. This is already on my list of year's best.
- Jacques Emond - Jazzart Productions
Hibbard is a new face on the scene, a sax player with a lot of creative juice. He composed all eleven of these neobop/fusion tunes. They are fresh and full of energy. Mace plays with a passion that draws the listener into the music, especially on The Tempest and Reverend Boots 'n' Ball. The band is a quartet including Louis Heriveaux (p), Justin Varnes (d) and Marc Miller on bass. Byran Leitch (g) makes a guest appearance on four songs, notably Raiders of the Lost Marc, a fusion tune.
- D. Oscar Groomes - O's Place Jazz Magazine
Congratulatons on producing and writing such great material, always enjoy listening to true professional musicians. I have played many tracks on my program 'Colours of Jazz'and have had a lot of calls about the cd, keep up the good work, I look forward to hearing more great compositions in the future.
- Larry Groves - 3mbs 103.5 FM Australia.
Another sensitive saxophonist, ably accompanied by his three friends (or occasionally, four). Never a phrase out of place to affect the listneing pleasure.
- Tony Wickham- Raido Maldwyn, UK
Really like the CD. You need to have it in your collection. For all music lovers, no excuse to not have this CD right now on your CD player. Buy it, you will not be disappointed at all.
- Gi Dussault Co-Host & Co-Producer Upper Room Radio Show
Great Cd, every track is a beauty, jazz in the true sence of the word, have played many tracks on air and will be featuring more in the future, to my broadcast this is a favorite.
- Kim Whitted - KMHI Radio 1240/fm Idaho
It's a fanatastic CD!!- I love your tone and tecnical ability on the alto and sop. You are certainly continuing the style of Parker, Stitt etc but have a sound of your own as well. I will be featuring the CD on my radio shows here in NZ and the internal jazz channel I will be starting soon.
- Mark Robinson - George FM
I just loved this CD ! What a great player and composer this guy is with a really hot band.Louis Heriveaux plays mighty fine piano on almost every track and Mace Hibbard is outstanding as a soloist.
- Barry O'Sullivan - Blu FM 89.1
A real jazz record this time by sax player Mace Hibbard. Not that easy stuff. A cd in the postbob tradition, but with his very own sound.
- Jan Nederveen - Radio 794
What a great sound you have, I have played several of your tracks to date and plan to schedule more in future programs.
- Michael Criddle - Triple H - FM
An excellent Saxophonist with modern style.
- Sharron Grauner - BODFM Inc.
This album crosses various jazz genres and does so very successfully, which shows true musicianship at its very best. The tracks are highly listenable and show the growth of jazz in all its aspects. Anyone who comes up with a name for a track, such as Raiders of the Lost Marc, has to also have a great sense of humour!
- Tony Bates - Highlands 100.7FM
Ecellent album from multi saxophone player Mace Hibbard, Great original compositions throughout the album.
- Pascal Dorban - Radio ARA , Luxembourg
I was very impressed with this recording, it is well composed, arranged, and extremely well played. Smoothly melodic tunes with a nice mix of tempos and moods, strong rhythms all the way through with good interaction between the players, and never dominated by the talented Mr Hibbard, who leaves platforms for his associates to display their considerable abilities. Well done to ALL concerned.
- John Reid, Keith Community Radio 102.8 FM Keith, Banffshire, Scotland
- Alex Pijnen - BRTO Radio
Sounds great! , Will get better with each listen. I will play the hell out of it on my show!
- Steve MacLeod - Jazzology
Certainly a well crafted stylish cd oozing with passion. Your music has extremely beautiful sublime compositions and is subtle but powerful, enjoyable to sit back and just feel the cool groove wash over you.
- Peter Merrett - PBS FM Melbourne Australia
This is a very melodious music. Your When Last We Met album stirs the soul from the very first chords. Thank you for making such a wonderful music!
- Serge Kozlovsky - Independent Jazz Critic
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Willing to teach:
Mace Hibbard is currently on the faculty at Georgia State University, At Georgia State, he is the Instructor of Jazz Saxophone and Beginning Improvisation and is also heavily involved in both the combos and big bands. He is also in demand as a guest artist, clinician and adjudicator at both colleges and high schools around the country. His clinics cover a wide spectrum, including both classical and jazz saxophone performance, improvisation, combo interaction and big band saxophone sections. Mace is also available for private instruction for all ages. Please contact for availability and prices. In 2004, Mace published his first book: Scales and Patterns For Saxophone Volume I Major Scales and Intervals This scale and technical book focuses on intervals and patterns based on the major scale. It contains exercises that contain all intervals, ascending and descending, as well as both simple and complex patterns. It is effective for both classical and jazz (improvisation) lessons, as its focus is to improve both the performers’ agility and tone on the instrument as well as giving the improviser tools to succeed in every key. 90 pages. $20.00 plus shipping and handling