An Interview with Gerry Hemingway

Ted Harms


The intersection between ‘great player’ and ‘great teacher’ is rather slim. Gerry Hemingway manages comfortably to straddle both areas—his decades of playing and composing in high quality, highly productive, and challenging groups have given him tremendous skills and chops, but his interest and desire to share and educate is like the opening of a vault.

Gerry has been on over one hundred CDs—released by his own quintet or quartet as well as duets and other groups such as BassDrumBone. He first came to critical attention playing in Anthony Braxton’s Quartet from 1983 to 1994 and has had a long and fruitful relationship with numerous American and European performers such as Marilyn Crispell, Ray Anderson, Mark Dresser, Anthony Davis, Ernst Reijseger, and Wolter Wierbos. He has received numerous commissions, including a concerto for percussionist and orchestra and is collaborating with video artist Beth Warshafsky. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000 for his work in composition. He has led workshops for many years and from 2005 to 2009 he was at the New School in New York City teaching music history courses and leading an ensemble. Since 2009 he has been on faculty with the Hochschule Luzern in Switzerland. His latest release is by his Quintet titled Riptide on the Clean Feed label.

Included here is an interview with Gerry Hemingway conducted in September of 2011.


Gerry Hemingway; Hochschule Luzern; pedagogy; education; jazz; improvised music; avant-garde; percussion

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Critical Studies in Improvisation / Études critiques en improvisation is generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (through both its Major Collaborative Research Initiatives and Aid to Scholarly Journals programs) and by the University of Guelph Library.
ISSN: 1712-0624