Florian Hoefner

headshot for jazz pianist Florian HoefnerAssistant Professor
Jazz Studies

B.Mus. (Jazz) (Universität der Künste Berlin)
M.Mus. (Manhattan School of Music)

Room MU-2015

Born and raised in Germany, trained in New York City and now based in Canada, Juno-award winning jazz pianist and composer, Florian Hoefner, draws from a myriad of influences that cumulate in his unique brand of modern jazz. While he is being praised as a “composer-bandleader of insightful resolve” by the New York Times and a “harmonically daring pianist […] reaching toward new sonic territory” by Downbeat Magazine, Florian Hoefner continues to make waves as an inventive creator and performer of exciting contemporary jazz.

His latest record, “Desert Bloom,” with his Canadian trio with Andrew Downing on bass and Nick Fraser on drums was released in June 2022 on Alma Records / Universal. The album features 7 new original compositions that showcase Hoefner’s hallmark lyricism and knack for suspenseful dramaturgy, and 2 new arrangements of pieces out of the contemporary Indie Rock and Bluegrass world. It won a 2023 Juno Award in the category Jazz Album of the Year: Group, and garnered nominations for 2 East Coast Music Awards (Atlantic Canada) in the categories “Instrumental Recording of the Year,” and “Jazz Recording of the Year”. The album has already helped Florian win 2 MusicNL Awards (Newfoundland and Labrador) as “Global Music Artist” and “Instrumental Artist of the Year”. It follows up on their Juno nominated and 2x East-Coast-Music-Award-winning album “First Spring” that was released in September 2019.

With his quartet, the Florian Hoefner Group, he has released 3 albums on Origin Records that have received rave reviews around the globe. “Luminosity,” the latest release that features tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, has been described as a “starkly picturesque album [...] that makes profound statements from quiet moments” by Downbeat, as “the real deal” by Jazz Journal (UK) and as a “total experience” by the New York Jazz Record. It has been nominated as Jazz Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards 2017. The Group also received the Stingray Rising Star Award after their performance at the Montréal Jazz Festival 2015. 

As a member of the Germany-based collective, Subtone, he has released 4 critically acclaimed albums on labels including ENJA Records and performed on 4 continents including festivals such as Jazz Baltica (Germany), ACACIA Jazz Festival (Ethiopia), Jazz in Situ (Ecuador) and Tremplin Jazz d’Avignon (France) where the group was awarded the jury and audience awards. Florian’s work as a sideman has led to numerous additional CD releases including a collaboration with guitarist, Kurt Rosenwinkel on Fresh Sound Records. He has shared the stage with the likes of Seamus Blake, Rich Perry, Jerry Bergonzi, Christine Jensen, John Hollenbeck, John Riley, trumpet virtuoso Jens Lindemann, and former New York Philharmonic clarinetist, Mark Nuccio.

A two-time winner of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, Hoefner’s compositions and arrangements can be heard on many commercial albums by artists including Till Brönner, Jasmin Tabatabai and Peter Fessler. His big band compositions have been performed by the New York Jazz Orchestra, the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra, the German Youth Jazz Orchestra and the DanJam Orchestra.