Ari Hoenig

As a drummer, Ari Hoenig's success has been unprecedented. Few have risen so quickly and deservedly into the upper ranks of the jazz. But it wasn't always clear that drumming would be his calling. Growing up in Philadelphia PA, his parents influence led him through a variety of alternative musical experiences. Both are active in music education. His father is a conductor and classical singer, his mother a violinist and pianist. Accordingly, at 6 years old, Ari began by studying the violin and piano.

So why did Ari switch to playing the drums at age 12? “Well”, Ari says, “It was the only instrument my parents didn't know how to play. You might even call it adolescent rebellion” Still, Ari feels his early foundation in classical music has been helpful in shaping his current musical concept. By age 14, Ari was honing his skills with other young jazz musicians at Philly clubs such as Ortliebs Jazz Haus. His enthusiasm was ill rewarded however at age 16 when he was sued by his neighbors for playing too loudly.

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