Primary Instrument: Bass
John Hebert, bassist, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana where he first began to study double bass with Bill Huntington. John attended Loyola University of New Orleans where he received a full scholarship. After two years of performing with many of New Orleans greatest musicians and performing at various clubs including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival he moved to the New York tri-state area to attend William Paterson University where he continued his studies under bassist, Rufus Reid and received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance. Since that time John has lived in New York City and has become a highly in-demand bassist. He has worked along side such world famous artists such as Andrew Hill, Lee Konitz, Paul Bley, John Abercrombie, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Motian, David Liebman, Uri Caine, Greg Osby, Bill Stewart, Marc Copland, Fred Hersch, Maria Schneider, and many others. He also leads his own group, Byzantine Monkey, and has received high praise for his compositions and individual playing style. He is also mentioned in Downbeat's 2006, 2007 and 2008 Critics Poll as a Rising Star Acoustic Bassist. From 2001 until Andrew Hill's passing in 2007, John worked with Mr. Hill in various ensembles. John is also featured on Andrew Hill's latest Blue Note release, Time Lines which was awarded Record of the Year by Downbeat's Jazz Critics Poll in 2006. John has also performed around the world at festivals such as the North Sea Jazz Festival, Tampere Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Moers Jazz Festival, Ear Shot Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival and many others. He can also be heard in some of New York City's most established venues such as The Village Vanguard, Blue Note, The Jazz Standard, Birdland, and the Iridium.
Known as an indispensable presence on the local scene (Hank Shteamer, Time Out New York), New Orleans native John Hébert is one of the busiest bassists in New York and a regular in the Rising Star Acoustic Bass category of DownBeat’s annual Critics Poll for the past three years.
His discography features more than 45 recordings since 2000, including titles by Dave Ballou, Uri Caine, Mary Halvorson, Andrew Hill, Steve Lehman, Andrew Rathbun, Dave Scott and Gebhard Ullmann. He has also recently performed as a sideman with Ralph Alessi, Taylor Ho Bynum, Frank Carlberg, Fred Hersch and Noah Preminger among many others.
His long-awaited debut as a bandleader, 2009's Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records), features his sextet of the same name with saxophonists Michaël Attias and Tony Malaby, multi-instrumentalist Adam Kolker, percussionist Satoshi Takeishi and drummer Nasheet Waits.
--David Ryshpan, Exclaim!
...music that engages the ear and teases the intellect...a depth of engagement
that simply seems to elude a lot of contemporary jazz.
--Nic Jones, AllAboutJazz.com
First and foremost, Hebert has his own sound, not an easy accomplishment
for a bassist. Big, rich, tones and a penchant for melodic lines (even in the
most frenetic pieces) makes his playing stand out. Byzantine
Monkey takes the listener out of the everyday world into a landscape
of mature melodies, splendid musicianship and highly creative interplay. It's
an aural landscape one can return to time and again, uncovering new paths to
--Richard Kamins, Hartford, Courant
Hebert's fractured ostinatos are a thing of wonder. Chris May, All About Jazz on Andrew Hill's Time Lines (Blue Note)
Hebert has everything one would want in a bassist, excellent time and tone, sensitivity as an accompanist, and good solos.
The answer lies in the syncopated, timed-just-right bomb-dropping and life-size sound of acoustic bassist John Hebert, a valuable asset.
--Phil DiPietro, All About Jazz
Hebert's bass, even when accompanying and providing harmonic and rhythmic support, feels like a contrapuntal voice.
--Bud Kopman, All About Jazz