@ the Love Supreme Jazz Festival
5 July 2014
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Derrick Hodge began studying electric guitar at the age of 7, inspired
by the playing of West Philadelphia’s Beulah Baptist Church
choir’s bassist, Joel Ruffiin. A year later, Hodge switched
to electric bass guitar and began playing in the elementary school
concert band and orchestra. In junior high, he was introduced to
the upright contrabass. At the time, there were no bass instructors
so Hodge learned the instrument by using his electric bass technique
and by watching the 1st and 2nd violins sitting across from him.
And for jazz band, he just played the upright bass as if it were
an electric bass, disallowing the lack of instructional resources
to be his hindrance.
He considers himself a product of a hotbed of talent from the
greater Philadelphia region which had a thriving Gospel, Jazz, Classical,
R&B and emerging Hip Hop scene. He also credits mentors such
as James Poyser, Jethaniel Nixon, and others throughout his teenage
years. Hodge received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music from
Temple University Ester Boyer College of Music where he studied
Jazz Composition and Performance. He studied acoustic and electric
bass privately with Vince Fay. He was also involved in the Temple
University Jazz Band and Small Ensemble, conducted by Terell Stafford,
and was the first Jazz major to participate in the Temple University
Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Luis Biava, and New Music Chamber
Orchestra. He was also a student at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer
Academy, under the instruction of Christian McBride and Loren Schoenberg.
Along with formal collegiate training and experience, he performed
with the Temple University Gospel Choir, among others. Hodge has
performed and/or recorded with Terell Stafford, Donald Byrd, Bootsie
Barnes, Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, John P. Kee and the New
Life Community Choir, Kenny Lattimore, Q-Tip, Mos Def, Timbaland,
Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Gerald Levert, Common, Kanye West,
Andre 3000, Sade, Terence Blanchard, Mulgrew Miller, Clark Terry,
and others. Aside from Hodge’s performing side, he has always
had a passion for music composition. Being granted the opportunities
to write for artists in the past has enabled him to be identified
as a writer in various genres of music ranging from Jazz and Orchestral
Chamber music to Pop and R&B.
Over the past few years, Hodge has been developing his writing
skills for extended music scoring and film music. Understudying
with Grammy Nominated composer Terence Blanchard, Hodge has been
afforded the opportunity to learn about the film industry and writing
process. He has also received on the job training while working
as an instrumentalist on many of Blanchard’s filmsincluding
She Hate Me, Waist Deep, and Inside Man.
Derrick Hodge’s most recent projects have included production
work and orchestrations with Common and Kanye West for Common’s
recent album “Finding Forever”, which reached Billboard
1. He is also writing music for two films: “The Army Recruiter”
and “Uneasy Listening”. Other recent projects include
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts in which he did additional
writing and scoring, as well as Who the $%@ Is Jackson Pollock?,
and Faubourg Treme: A story of Black New Orleans, in which he was
the music composer. Hodge is now preparing for the premiere of his
band at the Bluenote in New York City on Halloween night, in association
with producer Jill Newman of Jill Newman Productions.
For his premiere, he will be introducing his ideas and concepts
in a more intimate, small group setting. The beginning of a new
venture for him, Hodge considers this project at the Bluenote to
be the starting point for a lifelong quest to keep music honest,
relevant to the people, and uninhibited by genre.