Born: July 17, 1945 | Died: September 29, 2008 Primary Instrument: Congas
Percussionist, Producer, Composer, Solo Artist
One man's trash is another man's treasure. Nothing could be truer for Norman Hedman and the discovery of his first hand drum, a conga, he rescued from a Brooklyn garbage can. A native of the West Indies, Hedman instinctively knew how to repair the conga at age 12 and has been playing music ever since.
Today, the music of this first call percussionist, solo artist, producer, and composer, gathers multi-genre music connoisseurs around the globe. Attracted to Hedman's number one hits with broad appeal, audiences discover his passion for accessible music. I think music heals, and Tropique's music falls into that category; whether you're a teen or 80 years old, says Hedman. From Latin Jazz to R&B and Pop, Hedman's commercial recognition is widespread. His extensive product pedigree includes a variety of hit projects:
Number One Hits
Songs in A Minor, Alicia Keys (5 GRAMMY ® Awards)
Fear of Flying, Mya (Platinum Album)
I Ain't Movin', Des�'ree (Multi-Platinum Album)
Brass Construction, Brass Construction (Gold)
Walkin - the Line, Brass Construction (Gold)
Shaft Rock With U
Dr Doolittle 2 Rearview Mirror
Grammy Nomination List Best Latin Jazz Album
One Step Closer Norman Hedman's Tropique
Taken By Surprise Norman Hedman's Tropique
Norman Hedman's Tropique
After accumulating much of his own material, Norman Hedman founded Tropique in 1995. His percussion instruments continue to lend themselves to Latin jazz and island flavors. This dance-based genre makes use of timbales, cowbells and congas. Even though several band members play horns, the focus is on percussion.
Hedman and his accomplices captured the attention of the Recording Academy in recent years on two albums. Taken By Surprise and Healing Hands were both on the nomination list for a GRAMMY Award.
Hedman Defies Boundaries of Musical Categories
Chances are if you migrate to more than just one musical genre, then you will love Norman Hedman. A world-class conguero since the early 1980s, the rhythms of studio extraordinaire, Norman Hedman, cross breezy island grooves infused with Latin jazz traditions. Often times, Hedman's music is also characterized as 'world' or 'alternative' music. That's what Tropique is all about - a lot of different styles rolled into one, Hedman says with excitement. New and inventive concepts, clean, tight lines and original compositions are now his irresistible hallmark of success.
It's difficult to put Hedman's music into just one category, yet he has not abandoned his heritage. Hedman maintains the rhythmic value of Latin music. I'm a player first. I like rhythms and melodies, he remarked. There is no doubt Norman sets the pace for Latin induced rhythms.
Traditional Instruments Used in Non-Traditional Ways
Although Tropique's rhythmic structure is considered typical Latin, they do not play in the tradition of Latin. Hedman presents his music in a different way. R&B is at the core of his music's influence on bass and vocals. Inside a composition, the percussive parts continue to carry a traditional approach to tropical music with Latin sensibilities. This unconventional fusion of multi-cultural rhythmic structures earns Norman Hedman even broader appreciation. As a result of his association with great jazz artists, and through his own use of the rhythmic and harmonic influences from Africa, Hedman brings the non-traditional use of Afro-Latin idioms together, yet expresses it with a fresh twist. Clearly, this Latin jazz band sets the standard in exciting performances and ground breaking recordings.
Norman Hedman's music makes you feel good. Imagine blue skies, and a music that enables you to forget your troubles and release stress. Not only did Hedman identify a multi-genre music void with tropical influences, but he continually delivers quality music for the masses. Through focus, determination, and teamwork, Hedman found his passion and built a business around it.
Before forming Tropique in 1995, Hedman found work as a studio musician after leaving the military service. For two years while in the service, Hedman played with the Third U.S. Army Soldier Show in South Carolina. And just one year prior to entering the military, Hedman graduated from Brooklyn College with a business major in marketing.
Guilty By Association
Over the past 25 years, Norman Hedman has worked with many world-class artists in the multiple genres listed below:
Arturo Sandoval; Nancy Wilson; Bobby Watson; Grady Tate; Pat Martino; Chico and Vaughn Freeman; Arthur Blythe; George Cables; John Hicks; Gary Bartz; Ahmad Alladeen; Giovannie Hidalgo; Hilton Ruiz; Arthur Blythe, Horacee Arnold; Airto Moreira; Monguito Santamaria; Delmar Brown; Lew Soloff and Marcus Miller.
R&B / Pop
Alicia Keys; Main Ingredient; The Jacksons; New Kids on the Block; Daryl Hall; Luther Vandross; The Spinners; Des'ree; Mya; Sister Sledge; Jean Carn; Adrienne Wilson; Earth, Wind and Fire; Brass Construction; Skyy; New Birth; Night Liters; Colors; Charisma Band; Boobie Knight and The Soulciety; The O'Jays; Cuba Gooding, Sr.; and Katherine Dunham.
Norman Hedman resides in Northeast part of the United States with his family. The entire Hedman clan is successfully involved in the entertainment industry.
With a brown belt stashed in his desktop drawer, Hedman is far from your typical percussionist. He enjoys working with computers, riding horses, and the great outdoors. Best of all, this weaver of irregular, rhythmic rhapsodies brings honesty and integrity to everything he does.
“The band excels at producing pumping Afro-Cuban style rhythms and attaining a harmonious group sound atop all the nuances, accents and altogether tight arrangements.” - All About Jazz
“Norman Hedman’s Flight of the Spirit offers listeners an opportunity to hear exotic and diverse rhythmic and textures used correctly in a blended, fully realized setting which never compromises melody.” - Jazz Times
“Percussionist Norman Hedman and his ensemble were one of the brightest moments of the recent 2001 Barbados Jazz Festival…This group generates enough hear and excitement to warm even the coolest of Latin fans.” - JAZZ REPORT
“TAKEN BY SURPRISE is a lively collection of Latin jazz with a shading of world music…All musicians perform with gusto and sensitivity…Latin jazz at its finest!” - JazzReview.com
“Hedman, a percussionist whose diverse resume includes sessions with the Spinners, Sister Sledge and Daryl Hall, has an uncanny ear for rhythmic tapestry…in an Afro-Cuban flurry of congas.” - Jazz Times
“Hedman and his rhythmic accomplices are on target as the sense of professionalism and intuitive interplay become obvious from the onset.” - All About Jazz
“No frills, no jive. Hedman and Tropique sidestep convention by efficiently melding cross-cultural rhythmic structures with unruffled elegance and verve, as the compositions are generally memorable and first rate. A breath of fresh air indeed. - All About Jazz
“You can easily visualize a bright sunny day, on the sands, somewhere near the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean.” - All About Jazz
“Here’s a great album’s worth of Afro-Cuban jazz salsa. Deftly, combining the spirit of these genres with the fine composing and arranging of the tunes, this album is definitely worth hearing.” - Jazz 52nd Street
“Norman Hedman is an open-minded musician who has that rare sponge like ability to soak up and fuse both rhythmic and melodic strands from various ethnic sources. One Step Closer is an excellent fusion masterpiece of Latin American, Caribbean and Arabesque influences.” - Source Unknown
“Norman Hedman, with his refreshing musicianship and always hot, on target percussion skills, has to be one of the best kept secrets of jazz.” - Sister-Sister
“My feet were tapping the whole time I listened…you don’t hear this music, you feel it.”- JazzUSA.com
“Norman Hedman has an uncanny ability to create enticing musical adventures in a matter of minutes…the music is rich, creative, inspired, exotic and original.” - Inside World Music
“The polyrhythmic textures here are great fun as well, setting a solid foundation for the Brazilian electricity of the album’s title track (Healing Hands), with Andrienne Wilson singing gamely in Portuguese, English and French.” - Jazz Times
“Basically, Hedman & Tropique serve up…spacious yet often grooving Afro-Cuban induced themes and rhythms…” - All About Jazz
Garden of Forbidden Fruit
Tracks: Rundadar Dance, Closer, Cuttin Loose, Angel of the Night, Because I Can, Garden of Forbidden Fruit, It's Just Not The Same, Wherever U R, Walk in the Moonlight, Feeling My Way, Wait & See, Island Spice.
Personnel: Willie Martinez, Misha Tsiganov, Alexei Tsiganov, Craig Rivers, Ron Monroe, Sam Furnace, Brad Mason, Ada Dyer, Dani Stevenson, James D-Train Williams, Kendra Shank, Robert Aron, Joe Gonzalez.
Compilation (Special Edition)
Tracks: My Heart, Gypsy Caravan, Rudy's Mambo, Forever, I Caught Your Smile, Pa'Bailar, Flight of the Spirit, Maurice, Hed-Theme
Taken By Surprise
Tracks: That Unpredictable Eugene, Pa'Bailar, Taken By Sruprise, Rudy's Mambo, Felicidad, Soft Serenade, Can't Sell A Secret, Light at the End of the Tunnel, The One Left Behind, Just for Ruby, Maurice, Rags to Riches, The Message
Personnel: Willie Martinez, Roger Byam, Craig Rivers, Ron Monroe, Ahmaad Alaadeen, A.J. Mantas, a.o.
One Step Closer
Tracks: Gypsy Caravan, Celebration, Shades Of Magenta, Michelline, I Caught Your Smile, Passage, Flight of the Spirit, La Rerdida, Hed-Theme, One Step Closer, I Don't Know You, The Other Side.
Personnel: Hilton Ruiz, Talib Kibwe (T.K. Blue) Willie Martinez, Craig Rivers, Ron Monroe, Glen Pearson, A.J. Mantas, a.o.
Tracks: One For Ahmad, Blue N' Boogie, Healing Hands, Chickadee & Guajra Medley, Let's Have Fun, Forever, In A Moment, Camel Rise, Snake In The Grass, Alone In Love With You, Wonderful Feeling, Samba For Janice, Ample Hips.
Personnel: George Cables, Chico Freeman, Willie Martinez, Glen Pearson, Andrienne Wilson, a.o.
Flight of the Spirit
Tracks: After the Tears (I'm Gonna Make It), Only You, Sweet Thing, Island Spice, Sicilian Nights, Until, Flight of the Spirit, Strutt'n, Naima's Love Song, State of Mind, My Heart.
Personnel: Chico Freeman, Lew Soloff, Alex Foster, Delmar Brown, Lisa Fischer, Horacee Arnold, John Hicks, a.o.
As A Side Musician
Blue Note Records
Songs in A Minor
J Records / BMG
Fear of Flying
I Ain't Movin
Dino / EMI
Live in Paris
In & Out Records
In & Out Records
In & Out Records
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