Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Hemingway, Gerry

Hemingway, Gerry, composer, percussionist; b. New Haven, CT, 23 March 1955. The family was based in the New Haven area for 13 generations. His mother, Eleanor Cochran Hemingway, was born in Chicago, IL 1922, and died in 1989, New Haven, CT. His father, Louis Lee Hemingway Jr. was born in New Haven, CT 1920 and died in 1995, Hamden, CT. He was a composer. His brothers are James Cochran Hemingway, born February 4, 1945, New Haven, CT and Samuel Hemingway, born September 6, 1948, New Haven, CT.

Gerry grew up in Mt. Carmel, Connecticut to a family with musical interests (his grandmother had been a concert pianist and his father studied composition with Paul Hindemith). He became interested in drums around the age of ten and by the age of seventeen was working as a professional musician primarily in the jazz and bebop domain. Between 1972-1979 he made a living primarily as a jazz drummer and percussionist but he also worked and was interested in many other musical contexts including electronic music, chamber ensembles, theater, experimental film and world music.

Around that time he supplemented his self taught abilities with three years of trap drum lessons with Alan Dawson (1974-76), West African Master Drumming with Abraham Kobina Adzinyah (1974-76) and South Indian Drumming with Ramnad V. Raghavan (1974-75). He took Composition and Arranging at The Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA (1972-73). He studied South Indian, West African, Javanese and North Indian musics at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT (1973-76). He studied Composition and Orchestration at Yale University, New Haven, CT (1974-75).

In the 1970's, New Haven was home for a number of interesting musicians. This was where Gerry met and first played with Anthony Davis, Leo Smith, George Lewis, Mark Dresser and Anthony Braxton. In the late 1970's, Hemingway, trombonist Ray Anderson, and bassist Mark Helias formed a collective trio which they eventually named BassDrumBone. The trio which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2002. He taught at the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven 1976-9. Before I left New Haven in 1979 I had created fifteen different solo works for percussion and numerous small ensemble works of anywhere from three to fifteen players. I also had produced and published two recordings on my own record label, Auricle Records. In 1976 Leo Smith, Bobby Naughton and I founded the Creative Musicians Improvisors Forum, a non-profit organization that produced numerous large ensemble performances.

In the fall of 1979 I moved to New York City. In 1980 I presented a concert of solo and ensemble percussion works at the Kitchen in New York; he began touring as a solo performer across the US and Europe.
He joined and remained a member of the Anthony Braxton quartet for eleven years from 1983 - 1994, and starting in the late eighties he began performing with the Reggie Workman Ensemble which is ongoing and at different times has included Oliver Lake, Jeanne Lee, Marilyn Crispell, John Purcell and Don Byron among many others. He is a core member of Anthony Davis' Episteme Ensemble, and has performed and recorded as a featured soloist on Mr. Davis' violin concerto "Maps" as well as the operas "Under the Double Moon" and "Tania" (released recently on Koch Classics). Hemingway also performed in duet with pianist Cecil Taylor in May of 1999 on the invitation of De Singel in Antwerp, Belgium.

His current primary working band is currently a quartet with either Ray Anderson, Robin Eubanks-trombone or Herb Robertson-trumpet, Ellery Eskelin-tenor sax and either Mark Dresser, Drew Gress or Mike Formanek on bass. The band performed 40 concerts in the US in 1998. This follows twelve years of performances and recordings of his European based quintet. The group gave its final performances at the 1998 Nickelsdorf Konfrontation and the Clusone Festival '98. However the quintet formation is in a process of rebirth with new personnel including Frank Gratkowski on reeds, Amit Sen on cello, Kermit Driscoll on bass and Wolter Wierbos again on trombone. This group performed and recorded all new material in Lisbon, Portugal in October 2002.

His work as a composer and percussionist includes recordings, collaborations and performances with Derek Bailey, Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Kenny Wheeler, Frank Gratkowski, George Lewis, John Cale and Hank Roberts among many others. Collaborative trios include the GRH trio with German pianist Georg Graewe and the Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger, the WHO trio with Swiss pianist Michel Wintsch and bassist Baenz Oester, the CGH trio with pianist Marilyn Crispell and bassist Barry Guy, and Brew with Reggie Workman and Miya Masaoka.

As well there are a number of ongoing duos including one with John Butcher and another with live electronics and saxophone virtuoso, Earl Howard. Tom & Gerry is another duo with Thomas Lehn who performs live analog electronics. In addition the duo with pianist Marilyn Crispell continues with a recent performance at the 2001 Guelph festival. Another duo project is with vocalist Andrea Goodman known for her work with Meredith Monk. His work for multimedia includes "Waterways", for multiple slide projectors, tape and percussion, as well as an ongoing collaboration with video artist/animator Beth Warshafsky.
He has taught workshops at many of his concert locations, and has taught privately since 1975.
His wife is Nancy Bleiweiss Hemingway, born, July 10, 1956, Bronx, NY. They married on September 20, 1987. His son Jordan Elan Hemingway was born in Hamilton, NJ April 20, 1992, (plays contrabass).

Grants, Fellowships & Commissions:
Guggenheim Foundation for the creation of Sideband for 3 improvisors & Orch.(00/01)
NYA Perspektiv of Sweden Commission for Architextures 1 for large ensemble (01)
Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Commission for Contigualis for String Quartet (98)
N.Y.S.C.A. Composition Comm. for The Visting Tank for String Quartet & Sampler (98)
N.E.A. Jazz Composers Fellowship for Rebounds for creative orchestra (95)
Sound Directions, Double Blues Crossing: extended suite for Iliad Quartet (93-94)
N.J.S.C.A., Music Composition Fellowship (92-93)
New York Foundation on the Arts, Music Composition Fellowship (91-92)
N.Y.S.C.A. Music Comp. Comm. for an extended suite for mixed quintet (92)
Kansas City Symphony, Commission for a Concerto for Percussionist & Orchestra (91)
David Titcomb, Commission for Aurora, a work for chamber ensemble (91)
N.E.A. Jazz Composers Commission for Arcane Troubador for ten piece ensemble (91)
Semaphore Ensemble, Commission for Circus, a work for chamber ensemble (90)
N.Y.S.C.A. Music Comp. Comm. for Ghosts of Reasons for the Episteme Ensemble (89)
N.Y.S.C.A. Media Fellowship for a 4-channel electronic work entitled Polar (89)
N.O.S. Radio, Holland, Commission for Eads and Third Landscape for jazz quintet (88)
New York Foundation on the Arts, Music Composition Fellowship (87)
N.Y.S.C.A. Music Composition Commission for Aivilik Rays for solo perc. & tape (87)
Bim Huis, Amsterdam Holland, Commission for Second Line Ratoon, for eleven piece
 wind & perc. ensemble and Curves, Edges & Knots for string ensemble (87)
National Endowment for the Arts, Jazz Performer Fellowship (86)
Recent Performances of Commissioned Works:
03/15/01-Architextures 1 for Iannis Xennakis:NYA Perspektiv Ens., Stockholm, Sweden
02/25/99-Contigualis & The Visting Tank: GH Chamber Ensemble, Merkin Hall, N.Y.C.
05/12/97-Terrains (revised version): Concerto for Perc. & Orch., KR Orch., Koln, Germany
05/08/94-Double Blues Crossing, Iliad Quartet; New Music Circle, St. Louis, MO.
02/12-14/93-Terrains, Concerto for Perc. & Orch., Kansas City Symphony, K.C., MO.
11/17/91-Aurora, David Titcomb Ensemble; Merkin Concert Hall, N.Y.C., N.Y.
10/26/91-Arcane Troubador, Gerry Hemingway Ensemble; Bim Huis, Amsterdam
10/24/91-Arcane Troubador, Gerry Hemingway Ensemble; 042, Nijmegen, Holland
10/13/91-Ghosts of Reason, Episteme; Musique Actuelle Fest.;Victoriaville, P.Q. Canada
03/12/91-Ghosts of Reason, Episteme; Town Hall, N.Y.C., N.Y.

Kwambe (1979); Oahspe (1979); Solo Works (1982); Outerbridge Crossing (1987); Tubworks (1988); Special Detail (1991); Down to the Wire (1993); Demon Chaser (1993); Slamadam (1995); The Marmalade King (1995); Electro-Acoustic Solo Works (1984-95) (1996); Acoustic Solo Works (1983-94) (1996); Perfect World (1996); Johnny's Corner Song  (1998); Waltzes, Two-Steps & other Matters of the Heart (1999); Chamber Works (1999); Songs (2002); Devils Paradise (2003)

Collaborative Projects that Include his Compositions:
Creative Improvisors Orchestra: The Sky Cries the Blues (1982); BassDrumBone: Right Down Your Alley (1984), You Be (1986), Wooferlo (1989); Sonic Fiction (1990); Marilyn Crispell & Gerry Hemingway (1992); Tambastics (1992); Georg Graewe/Ernst Reijseger/Gerry Hemingway: Zwei Naechte in Berlin (1994), The View From Points West (1994); Wintsch/Schutz/Hemingway (1994); Graewe/Reijseger/Hemingway: Flex 27 (1995); Cascades Crispell/Guy/Hemingway (1995); Gestalten Frank Gratkowski Trio (1996); Graewe/Reijseger/Hemingway: Saturn Cycle (1996); Fred Hersch/Michael Moore/Gerry Hemingway: Thirteen Ways (1997); BassDrumBone: Hence the Reason (1997); Frank Gratkowski Trio: The Flume Factor (1998); Andrea Goodman & Gerry Hemingway: Divine Doorways (1998); BassDrumBone: Cooked to Perfection (1999); Thomas Lehn & Gerry Hemingway: Tom & Gerry (1999); Georg Graewe, Ernst Rejseger, Gerry Hemingway: Counterfactuals (2001); David Mott, Mark Dresser & Gerry Hemingway: Reunion (2001); Gerry Hemingway & John Butcher: Shooters & Bowlers (2001); Gerry Hemingway & Thomas Lehn: Fire Works (2001); WHO Trio: Open Songs (2002); BassDrumBone: March of Dimes (2002)

Compilations with his Compositions:
October Meeting 1 (1991); Angelica 1994 (1995); October Meeting 1991: Anatomy of Meeting (1994); Jazzgalerie Nickelsdorf 20th Anniversary Cd (1997); Guelph Jazz Festival Compilation (2001); Just Drumming: Compilation of Solo Drum Recordings (03)

As sideperson:
Allan Jaffe: Soundscape (1979); Ray Anderson: Harrisburg Half-Life (1980); Ned Rothenberg: Portal (1983); Anthony Braxton: Four Compositions 1983 (1984); Ray Anderson: Right Down Your Alley (1984); Mark Helias: Split Image (1985); Anthony Braxton: Four Compositions 1984 (1985), Five Compositions 1986 (1987); Episteme (Anthony Davis): Undine (1987); Anthony Braxton: The Coventry Concert (1988), if my memory serves me right (1988); Anthony Davis, Kansas City Symp.: The Ghost Factory (1988); Anthony Braxton: (London) 1985 (1988), (Victoriaville) 1988 (1989); Sato Michihiro: Rodan (1989); Reggie Workman: Images (1990); Franz Kogelmann: The White Line (1990); Marilyn Crispell: The Kitchen Concerts (1991); David Lopato: Inside/Outside (1991); James Emery Illiad Quartet: Turbulence (1991); Marilyn Crispell (1991); Anthony Braxton: (Prag) 1984 (1991); Lenore van Stein: Love is Dead (1992); Anthony Davis: X The Life & Times of Malcolm X (1992); Michael Moore: Home Game (1992); Anthony Braxton: (Birmingham) 1985 (1992), Willasau '91 (1992); Bob Ostertag: Say No More (1993);Anthony Braxton: (Coventry) 1985 (1993), (Victoriaville) 1992 (1993); Marilyn Crispell: Marilyn Crispell Trio (1993);New Winds: Digging it Harder from Afar (1994); Anthony Braxton: Twelve Compositions (1994); John Cale & Bob Neuwirth: The Last Day on Earth (1994); Klaus Konig: Time Fragments (1994); Anthony Braxton: (Berkeley) 1993 Quartet (1994); Bob Ostertag: Say No More in Person (1994); Marilyn Crispell: Stellar Pulsations/Three Composers (1994); Georg Graewe: Chamber Works 1990-1992 (1994); Reggie Workman: Cerebral Caverns (1995); Bob Ostertag: Verbatim (1996); Michael Moore: MGM Trio (1996); Klaus Konig: Reviews (1996); Ivo Perlman: En Ardir (The Jewish Songs) (1997), Sound Heirachy (1997); Anthony Braxton: Quartet (Santa Cruz) 1993 (1997); James Emery: Standing on a Whale, Fishing for Minnows (1997); James Emery Septet: Spectral Domains (1998); Michel Wintsch: Road Movie featuring Gerry Hemingway (1999); Lisa Sokolov: Lazy Afternoon (1999); Bob Ostertag: Verbatim - Flesh & Blood (1999); Mark Dresser: Maronade (2000); Anthony Davis: Tania (2001); John Law Quartet: Abacus (2001); Frank Gratkowski: Kollaps  (2001); Michel Wintsch: Sharing the Thirst (2001); Frank Gratkowski: Spectral Reflections (2003)

Select Publications of Gerry Hemingway:
Awake at the Wheel: Observations in Overdrive Arcana-Musicians on Music edited by John Zorn Granary Books/Hips Road ('00)
Festshrift for Anthony Braxton Mixtery edited by Graham Lock Stride Books ('95)
Percussion Discussion w/Milford Graves, Han Bennink, Joey Baron  Volume 14, Number 1 interview article Ear Magazine ('89)
Braxton Quartet  Forces in Motion edited by Graham Lock (from interview) Quartet/DaCapo Press ('88)
The New Haven School Jazzjaarboek 7 Redactie Erik van der Berg VanGennep('88)
Select Articles on Gerry Hemingway's Music:
"Gerry Hemingway and Songs" James Hale/Laurence Svirchev Coda Magazine  July/August 2003
An Appetite for the Unimaginable  Jan/Feb 2000 Issue Laurence Svirchev Signal to Noise ('00)
Portrait of Gerry Hemingway Volume 24, Number 9 Michael Bettine  Modern Drummer ('00)
Point of Departure Jan/Feb 1999 Issue William Shoemaker Cuadernos de Jazz ('99)
Interview '98 Internet Yves Citton University of Pittsburgh ('98)
Interview for PfMentum Internet Keith McMullen PfMentum ('98)
Quando La Percussione Diventa Issue 213 Giuseppe Segala Musica Jazz ('97)
Inspiration Afrika 1Y 21273 E Christoph Wagner  Neue Zeitscrift fur Musik ('96)
A Celebration of Diversity  March 1996 Issue Jon Andrews DownBeat ('96)
Stick Isse 216 Russell Summers Option Magazine ('94)
Special Detail Issue 247 Stephen Vickery Coda ('93)
De Techniek Interesseert me Nooit, Allen het Gebruik Ervan Issue 156 Hermann te Loo ('91)
Profile Volume 56 No. 8 Howard Mandel Down Beat ('89)

Contact information:
Gerry Hemingway
16 Edgemere Ave.
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
email: gh@gerryhemingway.com

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