- Sharp Nine concert review #2 (1/8/2018)
Hirsh’s arrangements, both of his original compositions and of his covers, were all very playful and engaging. His well-thought-out, memorable melodies mixed with elements of odd meter and dissonant harmony came together to create intriguing and pleasing performances that left me humming the whole car ride home. In fact, some of Hirsh’s tunes were catchy enough that I remembered many of them from the last time I had heard him play several months ago. Each composition took the audience on a dramatic journey, illustrating a story that kept us on our toes.
- Sharp Nine concert review #1 (1/7/2018)
The Eric Hirsh Quartet is a true band: I’ve heard this group play as often as any around here. Before the gig started Eric asked the sound man if the band sounded “balanced”. They are. Eric’s a fine composer & pianist; Aaron Hill’s alto playing blows me away; drummer Stephen Coffman manages the complex rhythms of Eric’s rhythms; while bassist Pete Kimosh holds the bottom line in sync with all.
- Eric Hirsh Quartet show preview (7/27/2016)
“Pianist and composer Eric Hirsh can play pretty much anything you throw at him. When he’s not leading his jazz quartet…he’s helping drive the progressive hip-hop of The Beast or the salsa shake of Orquesta GarDel. His original compositions have a propulsive thrust that combines a minimalist drive with the complex, expressive melodies. He’s one of the area’s best.”
- MUSIC OF CUBA: Mallarmé explores classical, dance traditions (3/19/2015)
- Area musicians explore the classical core of Cuba’s musical heritage (3/18/2015)
“The big innovation around what makes this Cuban popular dance music, and not French or English, is the rhythm,” Hirsh explains. “Cinquillo is the big innovation here. You do not find that in European classical music.”
- Hirsh up and listen (1/15/2015)
Eric Hirsh is a monumental contributor to the Durham based Hip-Hop band, The Beast. They recently dropped a new EP called “Stories.” However, this pianist, composer, and producer is also a co-director for a Latin Dance music making group called, Orquesta GarDel. It felt only right I chopped it up with him at the end of 2014 to get his insight about Durham and its growing music scene.
- With a festival, concerts and marketing, The Art of Cool Project bonds the Triangle jazz scene (7/31/2013)
“The new audience doesn’t know what jazz is and doesn’t care what jazz is,” Hirsh says. “They just want to hear good music.”
- The Beast + Big Band celebrate freedom, offer advance of new EP (7/4/2013)
The breadth of that power comes into clearest focus when The Beast plays with their Big Band configuration, augmenting their typical lineup of bass, keys and drums with strings, horns, additional percussion and robust vocal backing.
- Eric Hirsh plays Casbah, May 17th (5/17/2013)
- An Explosion Of New Music In The Triangle (4/24/2013)
Eric Hirsh is a restless and ambitious musician whose growing, genre-crossing body of work is finally being showcased in “Distillation,” his debut album as a bandleader.
For the past 16 years, Hirsh has lived in Durham, NC where he co-creates as a founding member of progressive hip hop quartet The Beast and as a director of Orquesta GarDel, a large-format salsa band. Increasingly, he has focused on writing and performing with a jazz quartet comprising longtime friends and Beast rhythm section Pete Kimosh (bass), Stephen Coffman (drums), and Aaron Hill (saxophone).
Hirsh is a 2012 recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Composer Fellowship, and a four-time winner of the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award. Residencies at the Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter Jazz Ahead, Chicago’s Ravnia Steans Music Institute, and Brooklyn’s School for Improvisatory Music each pushed Hirsh closer to the material on “Distillation.”
An enthusiastic collaborator, Hirsh has performed or recorded with the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, Nnenna Freelon, Jim Ketch, Shana Tucker, Emily Musolino, Greg Humphreys, and The Community Chorus Project. He has performed at Duke Performances, North Carolina State University Center Stage, The Stone (New York), the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the North Carolina Art Museum, UNC Center for the Study of the American South, Lake Eden Arts Festival, Shakori Hills Grassroots Music Festival, and The Art of Cool Project.