Introducing Eric Hoffman with Oliver Von Essen
Eric Hoffman was born in Flint Michigan, the son of a high school wrestling coach and a hairdresser. At age four, mom took Eric to a Bill Chase concert, a formative experience for this young musician to be. Hoffman soon began studying with the church organist at age ten, after the divorce of his parents. For the next few years Eric resided with his mother, younger brother (also featured on cdbaby), and his maternal grandparents. Although his grandfather, the son of an Arkansas livestock farmer, was not a professional musician, music was in his heart. He bought an organ and took lessons in his sixties and was also a fine Baritone. Eric took after his grandfather and practiced Organ on the Lowery 88 in their musical home and soon joined both Grandparents in the church choir. At age eleven Hoffman took up the Trombone and played in the school band. By high school his talent earned him a scholarship to attend Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan. Jazz became the focus of his study. Eric went on to the University of North Texas to participate in the highly regarded, Jazz Education program. Quickly growing weary of the sterile academic environment, he soon dropped out. Next he found himself floating the Caribbean, a staff trombone player for several cruise lines--sideman to Jack Jones, The Spinners, Vic Damone, Steve Allen, Terry Gibbs & more. Eric began singing with dance bands at sea. While backing up the Jerry Lewis Show, he was encouraged by Jerry's conductor Lou Brown to put together an act as a Singing Trombone player. When the opportunity arose to come to New York Hoffman moved to the city having never even visited. Since beginning the grind of the city, Eric has been a member of the Supersound, legendary Jazz Drummer, Charlie Persip's big band. He also formed his own group with pianist/organist, Oliver Von Essen. Von Essen can also be heard on recordings with Lena Horn and live in concert with Ruth Brown. Please enjoy Eric and Oliver's music on this recording.