Hank Hehmsoth: Pianist, Composer, and Visionary Artist
Hank Hehmsoth stands as a dynamic force in the realm of jazz, celebrated for his prowess as a pianist, composer, and his groundbreaking fusion of music with visual art. Based in Austin, Texas, Hehmsoth has cultivated a distinctive niche within the jazz landscape, setting himself apart through his innovative compositions and exceptional improvisational skills.
What truly distinguishes Hehmsoth's creative expression is his seamless integration of music and visual art. Drawing inspiration from classical, world, and avant-garde jazz, he crafts compositions that push the boundaries of convention. As an accomplished abstract painter, Hehmsoth produces large-scale artworks that serve as both companions and enhancers to his musical creations. This innovative synergy is palpable in notable works such as "Chernobyl Cha Cha" (2022), "Circling In" (2022), “Blu-Escape” (2023), "Cabo" (2023), and "Code Blue" (2023). In these compositions, the marriage of music and visual art creates a unique and immersive creative experience that captivates audiences.
Hehmsoth's avant-garde approach has garnered recognition and admiration within the music industry. His commitment to pushing artistic boundaries, coupled with his technical prowess, positions him as a visionary artist capable of reshaping the landscape of contemporary jazz. As he continues to explore the intersection of sound and visuals, Hank Hehmsoth emerges as a trailblazer, offering a fresh perspective and a new dimension to the world of jazz and beyond.
Hehmsoth has released several albums as a bandleader, including "Exits" (1997), "Exits 3" (2000), and "Night Rhythms" (2013). He has also collaborated with other jazz musicians, including saxophonists Bob Mintzer and Joe Henderson. He has received numerous awards for his work, including being named a MacDowell Norton Stevens Fellow, a NEA Fellow in Jazz, a Fulbright Senior Specialist in American Studies, and the ASCAP Plus Award for Jazz Composition.
Hank has over 500 videos on his YouTube Official Artist Channel @HanksJazz which includes major research contributions:
Austin Jazz Composers Collective
Just Jazz - rare performances from the 1970 TV broadcasts
The History of Jazz Drums
Jerry Goldsmith Cinemagic retrospective
In addition to his performance career, Hehmsoth is a respected educator and teaches jazz piano and composition at Texas State University. His students include international students from China, Serbia, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, and Romania. He has also led workshops and master classes around the world as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Jazz, sharing his knowledge and passion for jazz music with aspiring musicians. As a research scholar, Hank is a Jazz Research Fellow for the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. He has produced the Dan Morgenstern Collection for the National Endowment for the Arts, and discovered rare performances from the 1970 TV broadcasts of "Just Jazz" presumed lost for 50 years.
Hank's artistic works reflect a compelling consciousness for music to reflect positively on our place in a global community. He is a Distinguished Academic Member of the International Conference on Visual and Performing Arts in Athens, Greece, and placed first in the 2010 National Association of Composers USA competition. Nominated five times for the Texas State University Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities, Hank won the Dean's Seminar Award in 2015.