Sten Hostfalt ( S-ten Hust-fold ) b. December 14, 1962
American Jazz Guitarist, bassist, composer, bandleader, producer, independent record label proprietor & music educator Sten Hostfalt is a veteran of the international creative music scene for four decades, and a fixture on the U.S. East Coast / New York scene for 30 years, for the past decade portrayed by global press / media as
a contributor to the advancement of the the vocabulary of the standard 6-string / 12-fret guitar through self-invented interpretative microtonal techniques.
" Highly exceptional, virtuosic and with a lot of personality as a composer " according to mentors, legendary icons of American music, Jimmy Giuffre, Joe Maneri and George Russell respectively he was introduced on the early 90's New York Jazz scene through apprenticeship in Jazz orchestras led by Phil Wilson and Herb Pomeroy and George Russell, performances with Jimmy Giuffre, Gary Burton, Peter Erskine and Clare Fischer,
and as a member of the first edition of
Guillermo Klein's ensemble, called 'Unlike any other-one of the better continuing experiments in New York' by The New York Times and
in retrospective deemed 'semi-legendary' by Jazz Times Magazine.
While The Big Van's debut CD ( Beat 1994 / Candid 1997 ) 'El MInotauro' was successful and the band played to a full house weekly at Smalls Jazz Club, where the circuit during the early years of the influential venue included a virtual who's who of the new Jazz generation ( Mark Turner, Chris Cheek, Seamus Blake, Jeff Ballard, Aaron Goldberg, Ingrid Jensen and Melvin Butler were all regulars in this edition of Klein's band ) paid work was scarce and after a tour to Argentina in 1995, financial hardship forced Hostfalt to leave New York ( while the guitar chair in Klein's band was passed on to first, Kurt Rosenwinkel and then permanently to Ben Monder ) in favor for an offer to tour overseas with Swedish mainstream Jazz orchestra Sandviken Big Band behind mainstream Jazz artists Bobby Shew,
Deborah Brown and Rob McConnell, and in shared concerts and festivals with James Moody, Phil Woods, Tower Of Power, Ray Brown, Mike Stern, Woody Herman Big Band and Niels-Henning Orsted-Pedersen.
ETERNITY CHECK and 29 MICROTONAL PIECES
The 2001 release of Sten Hostfalt's debut CD 'Eternity Check', included a 1992 recording initiated by mentor Paul Bley ( who requested a copy of the master tape submitted to the National Library of Canada Archive titled 'Paul Bley Fonds' - catalog nr. MUS 297/J, 177 ) was immediately followed by the solo concert CD 29 Pieces For The Microtonal Guitar Live At Knitting Factory New York of which Jazz Review wrote " Sten Hostfalt has developed his own repertoire that incorporates microtones,
tuning his guitar in intervals of quarter tones and smaller, a genuinely innovative approach. In the future 29 Pieces For the Microtonal Guitar may be considered a groundbreaking work ". While All About Jazz concluded " Sten Hostfalt shows just about how
far an instrument can be bent to meet a more experimental, adventurous need, taking you on a journey to a place where rules, quite simply don't exist and anything is possible". In addition to being a Guitar Player Magazine critics pick and enthusiastically featured and reviewed in publications Jazz Now, Jazz Views (U.K.) Cadence Magazine and Altrisuoni ( Italy ).
In 2006, Hostfalt's third CD as a leader 'Macroscope'
( not to be confused with Nels Cline's 2014 CD with the same name )-yet another microtonal solo program, this time recorded at Boston's Zeitgeits Gallery and more focused on electronics, edited by Doug Henderson
( Anthony and The Johnsons, Devendra Banhart ) that although due to lack of a budget, fairly anonymously released, served as a sketch for original work to come.
Accompanied by live appearance reviews described as 'Impressive & Intense' by Time Out NY and 'Inimitable' by Paper Magazine, the development of Sten Hostfalt's microtonal solo concerts that included low-fi electronica improvisations, resulted in an expression that morphed in a number of ways as the format became duos-trios and sometimes quartets and quintets.
The role of the instrument transformed due to altered tunings used to interpret Joe Maneri's microtonal 72-note virtual pitch continuum-tuned down and often
in part operating in the baritone and bass register, the electric bass guitar was (also) soon regularly used in
performance and regularly between 2007-11, Hostfalt appeared as an electric bassist on the NYC scene, in configurations, that included Branislav 'Bato The Yugo' Andonov's Gypsy Boogie, and on the emerging new
generation New York City electronica scene in Collin Palmer's electronica act CALMER, in shared concerts with Machinedrum (Travis Stewart), MOBY, Keith Murray (DEF Squad), The Polish Ambassador, Addiquit and DJ Praveen ( Braille, Cassette). The 2011 release G-Factor / Moneytown ( recorded in 2007 ) featured Sten Hostfalt on Electric Bass ( along with Guitar, Electronics.)
DUOS TRIOS QUARTETS
At the same time the conception outlined in the solo concerts was manifested during various dio, trio and quartet formations. Along with ideman appearances with drummer Marko Djordjevic's Jazz fusion outfit SVETI together with among others trumpet player Brad Mason, bassist Janek Gwizdala and guitarist Nir Felder. As well as in R & B, Soul/Boogaloo outfits featuring trombonist Samuel Blaser, in shared concert bills with U.K. retro-soul R & B outfit The New Mastersounds.
After briefly in 2006 having headed the trio 'Soft Value' with vibraphonist Tom Beckham and upright bassist Matt Pavolka, he would lead a Contemporary Trio / or Quartet under the name K-Mod or Sten Hostfalt's 3 or 4 with Marko Djordjevic on drums, Ole Mathisen or Matt Renzi on tenor saxophone and bassist Tim Luntzel ( Roseanne Cash, Norah Jones ). Lineups that then in turn was reinforced by the 2008 release of Hostfalt's fourth CD 'Quartet'-a partial re-release of original quartet material recorded in the Swedish Radio Studio in 1998.
While operating on the New York City music scene, also means having a foot in the Avant-Garde AKA the NYC
Downtown scene, and along with regular solo concerts about 80 duo or group concerts were held 2008-12 together with Downtown New York scene mainstay, alto and tenor saxophonist and longtime ABC No Rio curator Blaise Siwula including tHE duo CD 'Now Matter' ( Sonus Rex 2011 ) and shared events with Tim Berne, Herb Robertson, Bern Nix, Daniel Carter, Ray Anderson, Bob Stewart and Daniel Carter. As well as performances in the groups and projects of Downtown improvisers Stan Nishimura, Evan Gallagher and Constance Cooper.
SYMPHONY SPACE / CARNEGIE HALL
In 2010 and 2011 two solo concerts at New York City's Symphony Space would cast the developments of past decades solo concerts into a traditional format with standard tunes from the American songbook. Along with performances at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium as a faculty member of New York Jazz Academy, as well as in a student-faculty concert performance
at Queensborough Community College. * DISCLAIMER : Sten Hostfalt is not affiliated with Queensborough Community College or with The City University of New York C U N Y.
DIMENSIONAL STATES / XXXV ENCONTRES
As 2014 saw the formation of Sten Hostfalt's 13-piece large microtonal ensemble 'Dimensional States' ( the initial performance lineup featured a trio set followed by a set by the entire 13-piece ensemble ) featuring his microtonal music with choreography and dance by Savina Theodorou. New York Music Daily somewhat casually concluded : " A bunch of A-list adventurous Jazz types play Sten Hostfalt's Microtonal Dimensional States for Jazz Orchestra at ShapeShifter Lab."
Same year, in November 2014, Sten Hostfalt was invited by Fundacio' ACA to perform a microtonal solo concert at XXXV Encontre de Compositors Festival, Palma de Mallorca Spain, held at Fundacio' Pilar i Joan Miro' the last home of revolutionary painter Joan Miro.
PRINTED MEDIA PUBLISHING
2015 marked Hostfalt's printed media debut in form of a concise sub-chapter feature, and an original microtonal
composition-of a description of a 2006 microtonal clinic in mentor, Berklee College of Music professor Jon Damian's book "Fresh Music" documenting four decades with his Creative Workshop that famously have included influential improvising guitarist Bill Frisell, Leni Stern, Wayne Krantz, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Mark Whitfield.
With the combinced perspectives of initially auto-didact, and subsequent academic excellence, Sten Hostfalt's
testament to music education, at his own NYC Guitar Studio, Manhattan ( since 2006 ) is represented by a multi-genre philosophy, teaching acoustic ( classical & folk ) and electric guitar as well as electric bass, mandolin and ukulele, composition-improvisation, and notably by presenting one of few actual resources anywhere offering systematic instruction in microtonal music on the standard 6-string/12-fret guitar ( as well as on other instruments ).
Decades of performances on the legendary Downtown NYC scene, was parallelled by also being the local in-house guitar teacher at East Village's First Flight Music for close to a full decade ( enlisted by Paula Spiro and taking over after Raoul Bjorkenheim ) teaching many hundreds of students, in-session speed-transcribing all types of music and with students accepted into music programs at SUNY Purchase, Manhattan School Of Music, The New School, Berklee College of Music, Third Street Settlement and Willie Mae School Of Rock for Girls, coaching students at Juilliard School Of Music, New York University and Columbia University, as well as members of popular professional acts like The Strokes, Okkervil River, Afghan Whigs, La Otracina, Titus
Andronicus and Barnum & Bailey's Ringling Brothers.
Academically, Sten Hostfalt is a former faculty member of one of the world's oldest conservatories-The Royal College Of Music in Stockholm. He holds a Master Of Music Degree as an honors emissary from New England Conservatory, and a Bachelor Of Music Degree with honors, as an Outstanding Musicianship Award recipient from Berklee College Of Music. As an invited clinican he has held lectures at The New World School For The Arts, University of Florida / Miami-Dade College, Berklee College Of Music, New England Conservatory and with Guillermo Klein's group at Colegio Ward and Centro Cultural San Martin, Buenos Aires Argentina.
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