About Hal Howland
Hal Howland's award-winning collections After Jerusalem: Short Fiction, Landini Cadence: A Rich Castillo Threesome, and The Sculpture Gardener: Short Fiction were published between 2008 and 2015. The tenth edition of his celebrated memoir The Human Drummer: Thoughts on the Life Percussive appeared in 2019. A new nonfiction work, True West: A Cultural Reckoning, was published in 2020. Howland's master's thesis, "The Vibraphone," the definitive history of the instrument, appears in Percussionist (summer and fall 1977). Since 1978 he has contributed to ArtSpirit, Culture, Internet Generations, the Key West Citizen, Key Wester, L'Attitudes, Modern Drummer, Music Retailing, Percussion, Percussive Notes, Scene, The Secret of Salt, Solares Hill, Sticks & Mallets, Talking Drums, and Unicorn Times.
Howland was born on August 30, 1951, in Washington, D.C. He showed a love of music about the age of four, studied the piano from age eight, and began to play drums, guitar, and bass at twelve. He has performed and composed classical, avant-garde, jazz, rock, pop, and folk music in America, Europe, and the Middle East. Howland received his B.A. in music from James Madison University in 1973 and his M.A. in music history from Catholic University in 1976. Among his teachers were Fred Begun (National Symphony Orchestra), Kenneth Krohn (Israel Philharmonic), and Bill Reichenbach (Charlie Byrd Trio).
Beginning in 1981 Howland presented his award-winning BMI jazz compositions (supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts) with the Howland Ensemble, whose critically acclaimed recordings include the audiophile phonorecord The Howland Ensemble (1985) and the compact discs Reiko (1995) and 10 Years in 5 Days (2003). Howland's long-awaited pop album Every Time It's You was released in 2018. He was the timpanist of the National Chamber Orchestra (recording for the Koch International label) from its inception in 1984 through its fifteenth anniversary season. For more than forty years he taught music privately and in local schools.
Hal Howland plays Gretsch drums, Paiste cymbals, and Vic Firth sticks, brushes, and mallets.
His Web-site address is www.halhowland.com.