The gifted rhythmatist started out by earning a degree in aerospace engineering at Iowa State before getting his Bachelor of Music from New Jersey’s Paterson College and his Masters in composition and arranging from DePaul (he’s working on his Doctorate in ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago). For the past six years, Hall has been an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is also a member of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz’s Jazz in America Program and the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Artists Residency Program, among a good number of other professional affiliations and activities.
Even more impressive than Hall’s educational accomplishments are his musical endeavors.
The roll call of Jazz musicians that Hall has shared a stage or a studio with is a veritable who’s who of the genre: Ray Charles, Branford Marsalis, Horace Silver, Joshua Redman, Kurt Elling, Wallace Roney, Joe Henderson, Kenny Barron, Bud Shank, Diana Krall, Clark Terry, Bobby Broom and dozens of others. Hall was part of the internationally renowned Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and is currently a member of the Terrell Stafford Quintet, as well as the Music Director for the acclaimed Chicago Jazz Ensemble.
Into the Light, Hall’s just-released debut album as a bandleader — featuring members of Stafford’s Quintet with bassist Rodney Whitaker — has been hailed by Jazz critics as a revelation of modern Bop. Hall’s two-night stand at the Blue Wisp will serve as a CD release event for Into the Light, but the real event will be witnessing the stellar work of one of Jazz’s great beatkeepers.
(Get show and venue details here.)