Born: February 2, 1959 Primary Instrument: Drums
Drummer and composer Reuben Hoch was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1959. He was raised as an Orthodox Jew, attended Yeshiva, and prayed in the synagogues of various Chassidic Sects, including Munkatch and Satmar. He began playing the drums at the age of 12 and became interested in jazz while in high school. He began playing professionally at the age of 16. By the time he was a senior in high school, Reuben was quite active on the New York jazz scene and recorded with his first group, Repercussions. Heavily influenced by Art Blakey, Tony Williams, Jack DeJohnette and Elvin Jones, by age 19, Reuben was playing with Art Blakey sidemen Valery Ponomaerov, David Schnitter and Lonnie Plaxico. He remained musically active throughout college and while attending medical school in Tel Aviv from 1984 to 1988, became a member of the Israeli jazz quartet Zaviot. Zaviot toured extensively throughout Europe performing in major festivals, winning an award for most originality in the Red Sea Jazz Festival in 1986. Reuben has appeared on many albums including two as a leader of his own group, The RH Factor, which features Miles David alumnus Dave Liebman.
Reuben's debut CD was recorded live at New York's Knitting Factory. Amongst the many musicians that Reuben has performed and recorded with are Greg Osby, Lonnie Plaxico, Jim Pepper, Ron McClure, Don Friedman, Joey Calderazzo, Ed Schuller, Leni Stern and Jeff Andrews. He was co-leader of the group West End Avenue, which featured the great Native American Saxophonist, Jim Pepper. West End Avenue released four CD's. The group's 1989 release West End Avenue , featuring Jim Pepper, Christoph Spendel and Ron McClure, was record of the month in Germany. This recording, which contains two of Reuben's original compositions, was given three stars in The Penguin Guide To Jazz On CD. The Chassidic Jazz Project, Reuben's most recent effort, combines traditional Chassidic melodies with contemporary jazz arrangements. For Reuben, this project is the realization of a lifelong dream and a vision for the future.