Born near Cleveland, Ohio, Holly began playing jazz standards with her father, a jazz guitarist. Her formal education included studying with Maurice Sharp, principal flutist of the Cleveland Orchestra and earning B.M. from Cleveland Institute of Music and M.M. from University of Northern Colorado. She moved from Colorado to San Diego in the late 80s and began playing with pianist Mike Wofford, and bassist Bob Magnusson. She recorded her first CD with them in 1989. It was during this time in the early nineties she booked a four night national jazz program in San Diego’s Horton Grand Hotel. At this time, Holly began touring with pianist Bill Cunliffe. The two toured festivals and chamber venues worldwide, presenting both jazz and classical compositions in brilliantly seamless arrangements. They recorded Just Duet, Vol. 1 and 2 and Live at Birdland in a quartet with legendary bassist Ray Brown and drummer Victor Lewis.
Holly and Ray began working in New York at the Village Vangard on a yearly basis in the mid 90s and in 2000 Brown began taking her on tours of the US and Europe as a guest with his trio. Also, in 2000 she married Mike Wofford, often touring with him in a quartet setting with Brown and Victor Lewis. In addition to her own quartet she has worked with Slide Hampton, Frank Wess, Kenny Barron, Cedar Walton, John Clayton, Houston Person, Regina Carter and Kevin Mahogany, among many others.
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Holly Hofmann has single-handedly destroyed the stereotype of the delicate female flutist, thanks to her muscular attack and improvisational abandon. --Los Angeles Times
Along with Hubert Laws, Holly is frankly the best jazz flute player today. --Phil Woods
Holly Hofmann is a leading force in changing the perception of jazz flute. While she can interpret ballads with unabashed lyricism she is just as likely to tear through a blues, artfully employing honks and growls. --Andrew Gilbert, Bay Area Jazz Writer