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Joe Hertenstein Joe Hertenstein

Born in Germany. In NY since Jan07. Freelance musician.

Joe Hertenstein's recent performances include concerts at the Philharmony in Cologne and the Moers Festival in Germany, the Congress Hall in Warsaw, Bush Hall London for BBC, the Opera House in Toronto, the World Trade Center in Dubai, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, as well as Carnegie Hall, Roulette, Issue Project Room and The Stone in New York City.

In 2005 “All About Jazz NY” magazine praised his performance observing that “Joe Hertenstein's drums seem to be shaping the music from the bottom up”, and in 2011 “Hertenstein practices that loose time-keeping so prevalent in Europe that the ignorant use to claim that an entire continent can’t swing.” In November 2010 the Portuguese label Clean Feed Records released his remarkable debut album as a leader and composer “HNH” featuring Thomas Heberer (tp) and Pascal Niggenkemper (b). In 2009, the German government honored the further development of his trio “HNH” with a composition stipend to fund the recording of their next album “POLYLEMMA” which was released on the Canadian label Red Toucan in June 2011.

For his artistic achievements, Mr. Hertenstein has received numerous awards and grants on both sides of the Atlantic. From 2007-2009, City University of New York, in cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), granted him a full scholarship and tuition waiver to complete his Master of Arts degree in Jazz Studies at the City University of New York. Prior to his work in New York, Mr. Hertenstein studied music in Munich, Rotterdam, Berlin and Cologne.

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”This is Hertenstein's debut as a leader, and what his trio brings here is a pure delight, finding an interesting niche of incredibly rhythmic free improvisation: the music swings from beginning to end, but then with the improvisational and sonic freedom of modern music, never losing the implicit pulse and forward drive that underpins every note they play.” — Stef Gijssels, HNH 12/2010

”Enough can’t be said about the toe-tapping swing of Hertenstein and Niggenkemper – the drummer has the subtle complexity of an Ed Blackwell, able to patch infectious rhythms into the most abstract of group improvisations.” 
— Clifford Allen, HNH 1/2011

“Hertenstein practices that loose time-keeping so prevalent in Europe that the ignorant use to claim that an entire continent can’t swing.” 
— Andrey Henkin, ALLABOUTJAZZ-NEW YORK 1/2011

“Hertenstein's superb drums spin quickly and effortlessly on “One Ocean at a Time”, providing the glue that holds this complex, ever-shifting piece together

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Advanced only


Over 15 years of teaching experience, all ages and levels, private and groups.

Clinic/Workshop Information

Over 15 years of teaching experience, all ages and levels, private and groups.



Album Interfaces: Jazz Meets Electronics by Jeff Morris

Interfaces: Jazz...

Ravello Records

Album Future Drone by Joe Hertenstein

Future Drone

Jazzwerkstatt Berlin-brandenburg E.v.


Future Drone

Kedar Entertainment Group

Album Polylemma by Joe Hertenstein


Red Toucan Records



Joe Hertenstein
Interfaces: Jazz Meets...


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