These are the press releases I've issued since 1989.
Howland publishes book of poems
Key West, May 5, 2021: Hal Howland rings in the optimistic spring of 2021 with You Go Too, a funny and moving book of poems about academia, adultery, homesickness, humanity's ancient culture of violence, love won and lost, music, nature, politics, poverty, religion, and sex.
Howland appears on Gretsch Web site
Key West, January 2, 2021: Hal Howland is the first Gretsch Player featured in 2021 on www.gretsch.com. The year 2021 marks Hal's fiftieth anniversary as a Gretsch drummer, and as an occasional Gretsch guitarist. The Gretsch site contains photos, Hal's bio, his thoughts on Gretsch instruments, and links to his Amazon author page, Facebook page, and Web site.
Howland publishes new novel
Key West, November 4, 2020: Hal Howland's most personal book to date, Wyatt Walcott tells the funny and moving story of a worldly, obsessive Washington, D.C., writer-musician, destined for Key West, Florida, coming to terms with his dysfunctional family, his regrettable past, his pandemic present, and his uncertain future. Anyone born in the twentieth century will relate to this heartfelt, time-traveling tale of an artist's struggle to survive in a society bent on self-destruction.
Hal Howland is the author of After Jerusalem: Short Fiction; The Human Drummer: Thoughts on the Life Percussive; Landini Cadence: A Rich Castillo Threesome, winner of the Eric Hoffer Award and a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards; The Sculpture Gardener: Short Fiction, winner in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition; True West: A Cultural Reckoning; and Wyatt Walcott: A Novel. Howland has released the acclaimed recordings Every Time It's You, The Howland Ensemble, Reiko, and 10 Years in 5 Days, and has received a jazz fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His Web site address is www.halhowland.com.
Howland publishes timely nonfiction book
Key West, Presidents' Day, February 17, 2020: Hal Howland picks up where his popular memoir The Human Drummer leaves off, discussing the aging process, art, books, business, censorship, drugs, drums and drummers, education, family, fashion, fear, film, history, Key West (the author's warm adopted hometown), music and musicians, opera, politics, religion, sex, travel, Washington, D.C. (Howland's chilly birthplace), writers and writing, and more with wit, insight, moral conviction, and self-effacing humor. Written at a crucial moment in American history and in the author's career, True West: A Cultural Reckoning examines where we as a society have been and where we might go, if only we could stop repeating our mistakes. A comprehensive bibliography and an index make True West a lively, readable reference work.
Howland releases long-awaited pop album
Key West, June 21, 2018: On the first day of summer, singer-songwriter, jazz musician, and author Hal Howland is pleased to announce the release of his long-awaited pop album Every Time It's You (Howland Records 4): fifteen timeless original songs written between 1976 and 2013, ranging in style from ballad to blues, folk-rock, jazz, samba, and ska.
Hal Howland sings and plays all the parts on Every Time It's You except for four beautiful guitar solos by London session man Matt Backer, whose credits include Belinda Carlisle, Elton John, and Julian Lennon. Most of the songs feature three- or four-part harmony; one arrangement requires eight voices.
Highlights include the poignant love song "I Just Can’t Say Goodbye," a timely "Song for Palestine (Derabucca)," performed in memory of jazz drummer Tony Williams, and the heartbreaking "Our Guitars," written in memory of the Beatles' George Harrison.
Every Time It's You was recorded in Key West and in London by coproducer Ian Shaw; drums and percussion were tracked in Islamorada, Florida, by Jesse F. Miller. The album was mastered on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, by Denis Blackham. It was designed and manufactured by Disc Makers, Pennsauken, New Jersey.
Every Time It's You is available from Amazon.com, CD Baby, Gracenote, iTunes, and elsewhere.
Hal Howland's jazz albums The Howland Ensemble, Reiko, and 10 Years in 5 Days and his books After Jerusalem, The Human Drummer, Landini Cadence, and The Sculpture Gardener are available also from Amazon.com and elsewhere.
Hal Howland plays Elixir strings, Guild guitars, Yamaha keyboards, Fender basses, Ludwig drums, Paiste cymbals, Remo drumheads, and Vic Firth sticks, brushes, and mallets.
This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Anne McKee Artists Fund of the Florida Keys, Inc. This project is sponsored in part by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts, and private donations. This project is sponsored also by listeners like you, in partnership with PledgeMusic.
Howland republishes four books
September 3, 2015: Hal Howland has republished four of his books, both as paperbacks and as e-books, in handsome new editions available from Amazon.com and everywhere else books are sold: the award-winning fiction collections After Jerusalem, 2nd edition (previously published as The Jazz Buyer); Landini Cadence, 3rd edition; and The Sculpture Gardener (previously published as Cities & Women); and the critically acclaimed memoir The Human Drummer, 6th edition. For more information, visit www.halhowland.com and click "Books & recordings."
Howland places in Hemingway contest
July 19, 2014: "Cities," the first story in Hal Howland's acclaimed new book Cities & Women, has won an honorable mention in the 2014 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. This project was made possible in part by a grant from the Anne McKee Artists Fund of the Florida Keys, Inc.
New Howland book published
"Howland's short stories strike a memory chord. He makes beautiful music with his pen." Hayes Brandwell, Polemicist Post
July 1, 2014: Key West writer and musician Hal Howland, author of After Jerusalem, The Human Drummer, The Jazz Buyer, and Landini Cadence, returns with his finest, funniest, and most poignant book of short fiction to date, Cities & Women (Key West: New Atlantian Library, 2014). The book, available both in paperback ($14.95) and as an e-book ($3.99), features several popular characters from Howland's previous titles and introduces a world of unforgettable newcomers.
The first of two title stories reminisces about a lifetime spent living in and visiting great cities around the globe. In "Evidence," a middle-aged actor remembers two former girlfriends, opposites in every way, who presumably still own photographs of him naked. "The Grand Tour" follows a small-time nineteen seventies crooner and his disparate bandmates on a hilarious American road trip. In "Grounded on Garbage," the pilot of a commercial jetliner accidentally touches down at the wrong airport, built on a precarious landfill seven miles away from the right airport. "The Hijacking of the Dave Mandarine Band" examines what happens when a greedy nightclub owner and a dishonest musician cannot leave bandleading to the bandleader. In "Hope, for Now," a man remembers a lonely evening with a sweet young prostitute. "The Impresario" satirizes another arrogant club owner and his mistreatment of the musicians who keep his business open. "Jocelyn Davies" is a lovelorn singer whose sexual awakening dissolves a stalled relationship. "Karla in the Closet" follows a lesbian's high-school sweetheart through two stunning reunions that span four decades. In "Keeping Score," a brilliant young math student has an affair with her English professor and offers him a novel way to remember her and her predecessors. "La bataille des bandes" tours the world with a successful French Beatles tribute band that refuses to sing or speak English. In "Library Daydream," a novelist moonlighting as a library cataloger imagines things he would like to say to his uneducated employers. In "Madeira in Translation," a man reminisces about a beautiful young Brazilian he met on vacation and the communication they developed in the absence of words. "The Mansfield Effect" recalls a comic one-night stand with an over-endowed drama student. "Minton and Mistral" is a tragic love story about two conjoined twins. In "Nora in the Office," a man remembers the first time he made love with a colleague, long before he had a proper job. "Old Vienna" is a nonfiction interlude in which the author pays tribute to his hometown. In "Out of Sequence," a telekinetic tourist wreaks havoc on Key West's technocratic music scene. "Perils of Paris" follows the misadventures of an accident-prone teenager. "Piano Trio" describes a noisy sex romp taking place upstairs in an old woman's guesthouse. In "Saved by the Guitar Solo," the jazz buyer of a large Baltimore record store considers rock songs whose most attractive feature is their guitar solo. "Scarred for Life" reveals the fixation of a young woman who as a little girl had witnessed a case of indecent exposure. In "The Sculpture Gardener," a Key West arts administrator turned call girl describes a sensual afternoon with her first client, a respected artist who had sat on her organization's board of directors. In "Second Thoughts," a young woman serving thirty years for killing her husband on their honeymoon discusses the crime with her new cellmate. In "The Siren of Salt Lake City," a musician remembers the most reckless one-nighter of his career. "Sybil and Biff" are two college students, one sexually dynamic and the other merely tantalizing. "The Teflon Hayseed" lampoons an illiterate county-government employee whose lack of credentials is no impediment to his career. "The Time Traveler of Naples" is a second nonfiction interlude, about an eccentric Italian Renaissance composer whose music, centuries ahead of its time, nearly redeems his having murdered his first wife. In "The Trinity of Regret," a failed old playwright recalls the three disappointments that set the course of his life. In "Watching His Language," a CIA analyst whose career spans the Cold War adopts a ridiculous method to stop swearing in the workplace. And the second title story remembers the women with whom a man came of age, if not into maturity.
This project was made possible in part by a grant from the Anne McKee Artists Fund of the Florida Keys, Inc.
Howland in Key West anthology
January 25, 2013: Key West author and musician Hal Howland's short story "Murder in the Ivory Tower," from his 2012 e-book The Jazz Buyer, appears in the new anthology Murder in Key West and Other Island Mysteries, edited by Shirrel Rhoades (Key West: Absolutely Amazing eBooks, 2013, ISBN 978-0-9887078-3-2, $3.99). Howland shares this first annual volume with Florida writers Jessica Argyle, Lucy Burdette, Tom Corcoran, Mike Dennis, Michael Haskins, Shirrel Rhoades, and Jonathan Woods. Howland will read from The Jazz Buyer at the Friends of the Marathon Library Speakers' Series, Thursday, February 21, 2013, 2 p.m., at St. Columba Episcopal Church, 451 52nd St. Gulfside, Marathon, Florida, 305-743-5156.
Howland memoir now in second edition
December 14, 2012: Key West author and musician Hal Howland's respected memoir The Human Drummer: Thoughts on the Life Percussive (Minneapolis: Publish Green, 2012, 548 pp., ISBN 978-1-938690-87-7), which studio great Hal Blaine said "belongs in every musician’s library" and manufacturer Bill Ludwig Jr. called "truly a masterpiece," is now available in a revised second-edition e-book readable in all formats (Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony, et al.), priced at $5.99. The Human Drummer has earned praise from major recording artists, symphonic musicians, and music-industry leaders. The book contains in-depth interviews with the Doors' John Densmore and the Moody Blues' Graeme Edge (in the first of which a notorious Ringo Starr rumor is laid to rest); personal recollections of Badfinger, the Beatles, the Bee Gees, Fred Begun, Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Gary Burton, Peter Erskine, William Faulkner, Vic Firth, Robert Frost, Saul Goodman, Elvin Jones, John F. Kennedy, Gary Lewis (of the Playboys), Bill Ludwig Jr., Bob Mathias, Joe Morello, Max Roach, Collin Walcott, Tony Williams, Frank Zappa, and other public figures; a firsthand account of the famous 1968 Jim-less Doors concert in Amsterdam; musical and social commentary; advice for students, parents, and professionals; musical memories of America, Europe, the Middle East, and a colorful career in pop, jazz, and classical music; esoteric information for percussionists; groundbreaking timpani research; a professional directory; a satirical glossary; a comprehensive bibliography; an index; and two actual adventures on the high seas.
Howland is the author of After Jerusalem: A Story and Two Novellas, The Jazz Buyer: Short Fiction, and Landini Cadence and Other Stories: A Rich Castillo Threesome, the last a winner of the Eric Hoffer Award for excellence in independent publishing and a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Howland's work has been nominated for the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, the Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards, and other honors. Howland has released three award-winning, critically acclaimed jazz recordings, The Howland Ensemble, Reiko, and 10 Years in 5 Days, and has received a jazz fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Born in Washington, D.C., Howland lives in Key West, Florida.
New Howland book published
August 17, 2012: Key West author and musician Hal Howland, whose restless mind produced the award-winning novel Landini Cadence, the respected memoir The Human Drummer, and the critically acclaimed jazz recordings The Howland Ensemble, Reiko, and 10 Years in 5 Days, has returned with a thought-provoking and often hilarious collection of short fiction.
The Jazz Buyer (Minneapolis: Publish Green, 2012, 359 pp., ISBN 978-1-938296-93-2) is now available as an e-book readable in all popular formats (iBooks, Kindle, Nook, Sony, et al.), priced at $5.99.
In "Acrophobia and the Professor," a distinguished marine biologist battles her irrational fear of heights. In "American Oratorio," an eighteenth-century colonial composer accidentally duplicates the world's most famous piece of choral music. "An Army of Beggars" finds a stoned Florida Keys homeowner taking a break from gardening to entertain conflicting hallucinations. In "Dad Fakes His Death and Goes West," the middle-aged son of a CIA agent dreams that his father made good on his threat to trade domestic predictability for the rugged frontier life of his youth. In "The Fine Art of Professional Suicide" (featuring several characters from Landini Cadence), a Key West writer learns the danger of using an old friend as the model for a fictional femme fatale. The title piece, "The Jazz Buyer," celebrates the goofy cast of characters who make up the staff of a doomed Baltimore record store. "Murder in the Ivory Tower" travels the dark corridors of an East Coast music conservatory where genius and mediocrity share the spotlight. "The Permanent Resident" examines the fine line between living alone and living a fantasy. In "Public Sex," a beautiful Georgetown sex addict visits a twelve-step program just for fun. In "The Southernmost Erection," an anonymous philanthropist challenges a tacky tourist town to clean up its act. In "Stay," a Key West taxi driver unwittingly causes a series of suicides and then seeks the counsel of a psychic friend-with-benefits. "A Whole New Leonard" follows a Miami journalist distracted by a dramatic overnight change in his anatomy. "The Younger Woman's Wordplay" recalls an intellectually stimulating romance with a horrible secret. And in the allegorical novella After Jerusalem, a beautiful Palestinian double agent in the Israeli army and a visiting American pianist are caught up in a plot to assassinate the prime minister of Israel.
Hal Howland has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has received grants and awards from the Florida Arts Council, the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, the State of Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Washington Area Music Association. Howland is a recipient of the Eric Hoffer Award for excellence in independent publishing and is a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. His work has been nominated for the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, the Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards, and other honors.
Howland novel wins award, gets second edition
June 10, 2011: SeaStory Press has published a revised second edition of Hal Howland's acclaimed novel Landini Cadence. The book is a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, presented on May 24 at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Landini Cadence and Other Stories: A Rich Castillo Threesome combines the comic tale of roadside sex, murder, and dysfunctional family values with two others featuring cranky Key West detective-musician Rich Castillo: the outrageous Brice Miller's Notebooks, which eavesdrops on a respected Irish novelist trying her hand at erotica, and the short satire "Murder in the Percussion Section," in which someone is going around the country killing successful drummers, using vintage percussion accessories as weapons. The 406-page book is available in a handsome paperback priced at $18 or as an e-book priced at $6.99.
Howland joins Carl Peachey Band
November 7, 2010: Drummer and singer Hal Howland is now a regular member of the Carl Peachey Band, in residence since 1995 at Captain Tony's Saloon, 428 Greene St., Key West, 305-294-1838. (Howland had been Peachey's first-call sub since 2003.) The two old friends and former Washingtonians are joined by Miami virtuoso bassist Samson Ramos in a vast repertoire of classic and contemporary rock, soul, funk, blues, reggae, pop, and original music. The group performs every Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. and on special occasions throughout the year at the famous Hemingway watering hole (humorously depicted in Howland's new novel Landini Cadence). Howland continues to perform also with Howard Livingston & Mile Marker 24. Before moving to the Keys in 2000, Howland was the timpanist of the National Chamber Orchestra and the leader of the critically acclaimed Howland Ensemble recording group, with whom he received a jazz fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
New Howland book published
"It's great! It kept me guessing till the end." Larry Erskine, Key West city attorney
"Just started reading Hal Howland's Landini Cadence, and it is easy to see this is another runaway Key West hit for him! His Rich Castillo, the homicide detective who moonlights as a drummer, is a winner. Loved his conversation with the racist, holier-than-thou Pastor Pilcher after the murder of his two church members! Howland paints that area of the Lower Keys exactly as it is. Can't wait to read the rest of the book!" Peg Gregory, author of Starfish
"What a fun book! A great example of the inspiration of love." Michael Larson, St. Peter Catholic Church choir director
"I love it! It grabs the reader from the first page and doesn't let go. Read it twice!" Howard Livingston, singer-songwriter
"Howland's best piece of fiction yet! On its surface the novel is a well-structured work that fits cozily into the niche of crime fiction, a pitch-perfect poolside read that's amply disturbing and compelling. What sets it apart is its most unexpected gift: an unflinching look at the politics and customs at work in our sunny island chain." Jennifer O'Lear, author of Pressure Drop, in Solares Hill
"As a sex-crazed, gun-toting musician, I must say I found it enjoyable—all derogatory comments on the current state of conservatism aside!" Tim Smyser, bassist, Johnny & the Rebels
"In Key West an unaccompanied woman will say hello to you on a quiet street at three in the morning. She might blush, she might wish you were another woman, or both. Don't come here." —from Landini Cadence
April 26, 2010: Enjoy the dark side of paradise in Hal Howland's hilarious and heartwarming new novel, Landini Cadence (Black Rose Books, ISBN 978-1-935605-27-0, paperback, $16.95).
Cranky Key West homicide detective Rich Castillo, who takes his fabulous girlfriend and his frustrating part-time music career as seriously as he does his day job (and who first appeared in Howland's critically acclaimed fiction debut, After Jerusalem), is handed nine consecutive murders connected by roadside sex and redneck religion. Victoria Landini's colorful family, an army of cultural spin doctors, and the world's worst Christian rock band enliven this affectionate but unflinching portrait of a desperate tourist town (with side trips to Miami, Washington, Holland, and Wales). From adultery, incest, kidnapping, prostitution, and schizophrenia to automobile collecting, gardening, great food, massage therapy, salsa dancing, and teenage romance, Landini Cadence is pure fun in the sun.
Hal Howland is the author of After Jerusalem: A Story and Two Novellas and The Human Drummer: Thoughts on the Life Percussive. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Virginia, Europe, and the Middle East, Howland lives on Sugarloaf Key, Florida.
Landini Cadence is available in shops and from online sources worldwide, including Amazon.com (www.amazon.com, www.amazon.uk), Baker & Taylor (www.btol.com), Barnes & Noble (www.barnesandnoble.com), Bertrams (www.bertrams.com), Espresso Book Machine (www.ondemandbooks.com), Gardners (www.gardners.com), Ingram (www.ingrambook.com), NACSCORP (www.nacscorp.com), PubEasy (www.pubeasy.com), and Rittenhouse (www.rittenhouse.com).
New Howland book published
"Great reading, and should be in every musician's library." Hal Blaine, studio drummer
"Fills a niche! Says many things of interest to both drummers and laypersons, entertaining, substantial." Peter Erskine, drummer and leader
"Wow! Talk about comprehensive." Vic Firth, former solo timpanist, Boston Symphony Orchestra
"Truly a masterpiece, and every drummer should read it! Nothing like it has ever been written. It is a wonderful piece of literature: his command of the language is magnificent and the ideas expressed in such flowing narrative as to retain the reader's interest throughout. A work for the ages." William F. Ludwig Jr., drum manufacturer
"Very enjoyable, well written!" Chet McCracken, drummer, the Doobie Brothers
"Eminently readable!" Rick Van Horn, former senior editor, Modern Drummer magazine
June 18, 2009: SeaStory Press has published Hal Howland's acclaimed, long-awaited nonfiction book The Human Drummer: Thoughts on the Life Percussive, ISBN 978-0-9821151-3-8, in a handsome paperback edition priced at $18.
The 412-page work has earned praise from major recording artists, symphonic musicians, and music-industry leaders. The Human Drummer contains musical and social commentary; advice for students, parents, and professionals; celebrity interviews; musical memories of America, Europe, the Middle East, and a colorful career in pop, jazz, and classical music; esoteric information for percussionists; groundbreaking timpani research; a professional directory; a satirical glossary; a comprehensive bibliography; an index; and two actual adventures on the high seas. The book is available from booksellers and from www.amazon.com, www.halhowland.com, and www.seastorypress.com.
This project is sponsored in part by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, the State of Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and private donations.
Hal Howland is the author of After Jerusalem: A Story and Two Novellas, ISBN 978-0-9821151-0-7, which Key West writer Michael Haskins calls "masterful" and former Miami Herald columnist Michael Suib hails as "a literary treat of symphonic proportions." Howland is currently promoting his next novel, Landini Cadence. Born in Washington, D.C., Howland lives on Sugarloaf Key, Florida. His Web site address is halhowland.com.
Howland fiction collection published
"Hal Howland weaves a tale that is reminiscent of when short stories flourished in magazines and publishers fought each other for writers' stories. Howland brings the Key West I know so well to life and captures the essence of the characters that call the end of the road home. Howland's weaving of his knowledge of music through the stories is masterful. I not only enjoyed the stories, but closed the book having learned something too." Michael Haskins, author of Chasin' the Wind
November 15, 2008: SeaStory Press has published Key West writer and musician Hal Howland's fiction debut, After Jerusalem: A Story and Two Novellas, ISBN 978-0-9821151-0-7, in a handsome hardcover edition priced at $25.
The author will sign copies of After Jerusalem on Saturday, December 13, at 5 p.m., at Voltaire Books, 330 Simonton St. (corner of Eaton), Key West, 305-296-3226.
In the short satire "Murder in the Percussion Section," someone is going around the country killing successful drummers, using vintage percussion instruments and accessories as weapons—and leaving these coveted items at the crime scenes. The reader gets inside the classical, jazz, and rock music worlds and travels from D.C. to New York, Wyoming, Key West, Indianapolis, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Boston seeking the traitor in this eccentric society. An FBI agent partners with a Key West homicide detective whose drumming experience may help crack the case. Lieutenant Rich Castillo reappears in Brice Miller's Notebooks.
The first of two novellas centers on a successful Irish writer living in Key West and on Henry Rivers, a local English teacher. Sexually shy Brice Miller has decided to try her hand at erotica, and she begins tapping Henry's experience in her research. The two friends have vowed not to fall in love. Meanwhile, someone is murdering Key Westers who are involved in the sex trade, in cleverly gruesome ways. Brice and Henry themselves are threatened by a religious predator. Supporting characters include Brice's beautiful next-door neighbor and her oversexed boyfriend, a pair of worldly young employees of a downtown fantasy club, a respected lesbian police inspector and her unstable brother, a tenacious homicide detective and his accidentally helpful partner, a dangerously handsome former priest and his young drag-queen roommate, a county commissioner who doesn't let a little scandal get in the way of helping an old friend, and an assortment of businessmen who clearly chose the wrong business.
The central character of After Jerusalem is a beautiful Palestinian double agent in the Israeli army who not only is caught up in an insane plot to assassinate the prime minister of Israel but also is beginning to doubt her lesbian orientation. In a twist of fate, she is assigned as a security escort to a restless American jazz pianist who is visiting Israel on a State Department tour. Along for this wild ride are the soldier's kind but unreliable twin brother, the zealous ringleader the siblings are trying to escape, an oracular Greek friend (himself reluctantly involved in the conspiracy), a mischievous old Israeli major whose matchmaking turns tragic, and the soldier's volatile estranged girlfriend. The Orpheus legend serves as a metaphor for peace in the Middle East, and jazz runs through the action as "the music of the dispossessed."
Hal Howland is a freelance writer and musician. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Virginia, Europe, and the Middle East, he now lives on Sugarloaf Key, Florida. 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, 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. After Jerusalem is his first book-length collection of fiction. SeaStory Press will publish Hal Howland's nonfiction book The Human Drummer: Thoughts on the Life Percussive in 2009. Howland is currently promoting his next novel, Landini Cadence.
After Jerusalem is available from your favorite bookseller, www.amazon.com, www.halhowland.com, and www.seastorypress.com.
Howland releases new CD
Jazz retrospective combines D.C. music and Key West art
August 22, 2003: Key West composer and former Washingtonian Hal Howland is pleased to announce the release of his new retrospective jazz CD, 10 Years in 5 Days.
Called "eloquent, modern, first-class" by Stereo Review and awarded Best Jazz Recording and Best Debut Recording (and nominated Best Small Jazz Ensemble, Best New Artist, Best Song, and Best Record Design) by the Washington Area Music Association, this timeless music features seven of D.C.'s finest players: Chris Battistone, trumpet; Brian Bennett, piano; Hal Howland, drums and percussion; Jon Metzger, vibraphone and marimba; John Previti, bass violin and bass guitar; Tom Reed, vibraphone; and Bruce Swaim, saxophones and flute. The CD includes eight Howland compositions and two by Tom Reed.
10 Years in 5 Days was recorded and mixed by Bob Dawson at Bias Studios, Springfield, Virginia, in 1984, 1985, and 1988. The title track was remixed by Jim Robeson at Bias in 2003. The pristine original tapes were digitally remastered by Charlie Pilzer at Airshow Mastering, Springfield, in 2003.
10 Years in 5 Days features cover art by Key West painter Janet Mueller. Prints of Mueller's painting Jazz Guyz are available for purchase as giclée on canvas, from an edition of 500, measuring 30" x 24", stretched, varnished, signed, and numbered by the artist. See the CD booklet for ordering information.
The European cover design of 10 Years in 5 Days is by Key West graphic artist Bob Bender.
The CD was manufactured by Oasis CD Manufacturing, Sperryville, Virginia.
Hal Howland plays Ludwig drums, Paiste cymbals, and Vic Firth sticks, brushes, and mallets.
To order 10 Years in 5 Days, send a check or money order for $15, payable to Hal Howland, to 263 Venetian Way, Sugarloaf Key, FL 33042-3612. 10 Years in 5 Days and its colorful predecessor, Reiko (1995, with liner notes by jazz great Peter Erskine), may be ordered together for only $27. Tracks 1-7 of 10 Years in 5 Days are available on audiophile LP as The Howland Ensemble (1986, with liner notes by Hal Howland), for $12. Shipping on all orders is free of charge.
Both 10 Years in 5 Days and Reiko are available also from Amazon.com, Artistdirect.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Bestbuy.com, Borders.com, CDNow.com, cdstreet.com, CDuniverse.com, Circuitcity.com, FYE.com, HMV.com, Sonicnet.com, Target.com, Theorchard.com, Towerrecords.com, Virginmega.com, Waldenbooks.com, Yahoo.com, many more online sources, and distributors and record shops worldwide.
Howland sings, records, teaches
Solo guitar gigs, retrospective jazz CD, lessons
August 4, 2003: To help celebrate Captain Tony Tarracino's 87th birthday, singer-songwriter Hal Howland will perform his award-winning originals and English, Irish, and American folk and pop tunes on Sunday, August 10, 4:30-8:30 p.m., at Captain Tony's Saloon, 428 Greene Street, Key West, 305-294-1838. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.
Howland will strap on the 12-string again on Friday, September 5, 5-9 p.m., at Hogfish Bar and Grill, 6810 Front Street, Stock Island, 305-293-4041.
From his usual spot behind the drums, Howland will release his critically acclaimed retrospective jazz CD 10 Years in 5 Days, with cover art by Key West painter Janet Mueller, in the next few weeks. To reserve a copy, send a check or money order for $15, payable to Hal Howland, to 263 Venetian Way, Sugarloaf Key, FL 33042-3612. 10 Years in 5 Days and its colorful predecessor, Reiko (1995), may be ordered together for only $27. Shipping is free of charge. Both CDs will be available also from www.amazon.com and in record shops worldwide.
Howland Percussion Studio is accepting a limited number of students of drum set, snare drum, timpani, mallets, and theory. Hal Howland teaches also in Monroe County schools. Call 305-745-2572 for an appointment.
Howland wears many hats
Goes for baroque, swings, rocks, gets the blues
November 15, 2002: Percussionist Hal Howland will play baroque timpani in a performance of Handel's glorious Four Coronation Anthems with the Miami Bach Society, Don Oglesby, conductor, on Sunday, November 24, 2002, at 7:30 p.m., at Temple Emanuel, Miami Beach. The highlight of the Society's annual Tropical Baroque Festival later this season will be an outdoor performance of Handel's Royal Fireworks Music, complete with fireworks. For information call 305-284-4162.
Howland will play in the 20th annual community performance of Handel's Messiah, Dean Walters, conductor, on Sunday, December 1, 2002, at 8 p.m., at Key West United Methodist Church, Eaton and Simonton Streets. Call 305-745-1409.
Howland will reunite with New York jazz guitarist Joshua Breakstone at the Banana Café, 1211 Duval Street, Key West, 305-294-7227, Thursdays at 9 p.m., starting December 5, 2002.
The Keys Chorale, Emily Lowe, conductor, will perform holiday works of Bach, Haydn, Puccini, and others on Friday, December 6, 2002, at 8 p.m., at the Tennessee Williams Theatre (TW), 5901 College Road, Key West, 305-296-1520.
Howland drives the fun rock band Group Therapy (Joe Dallas, bass and vocals; Larry Erskine, guitar, mandolin, and vocals; Tom O'Brien, guitar, reeds, and vocals) throughout the Keys. The group will perform at Coconuts, 30535 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key, 305-872-3795, on Friday, December 27, 2002, at 10 p.m. See other gigs on the "Performances" page on this Web site.
Island Opera Theatre, Vincent Zito, conductor, will perform Johann Strauss Jr.'s operetta Die Fledermaus on Tuesday, December 31, 2002, at 7 p.m., also at TW. A New Year's Eve party on stage and in the theater lobby will follow the performance.
Howland will rejoin Atlanta blues-guitar great Roger "Hurricane" Wilson on Sunday, January 19, 2003, at 10 p.m., at the Green Parrot Bar, 601 Whitehead Street, Key West, 305-294-6133.
The Howland Ensemble's acclaimed Reiko CD is now more widely available than ever. New outlets include Baby's Coffee, 3178 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 15, and the online store Key West Sights and Sounds. See other worldwide distribution sites below.
Howland online, on stage, and on the air
New Web site, Banana Café house gig, airplay on Conch FM
August 17, 2002: Musician, teacher, writer, and editor Hal Howland has published a new Web site, www.halhowland.com, containing fun photo galleries, news of performances, recordings, publications, lessons, lyrics, and much more. Visit today!
Howland plays drums Thursdays, 9 p.m. to midnight, with the Lonnie Jacobson Trio at the Banana Café, 1211 Duval Street, Key West, 305-294-7227. This group, with pianist Gordy Michael, has the rare ability to burn at a low volume. Hear world-class jazz and enjoy fabulous French cuisine in the Banana's breezy ambiance.
Howland will play timpani in a commemorative performance of the Brahms Requiem with the Keys Chorale, Emily Lowe, conductor, Wednesday, September 11, 7:30 p.m., at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Duval and Eaton Streets, Key West.
Howland will play baroque timpani in the 20th annual community performance of Handel's Messiah, Dean Walters, conductor, Sunday, December 1, 8 p.m., at Key West United Methodist Church, Eaton and Simonton Streets. (The difference between regular timpani and baroque timpani is that the latter fit in a Mustang.)
The award-winning Howland Ensemble jazz group's compact disc Reiko and audiophile phonorecord The Howland Ensemble are available directly from halhowland.com, Amazon.com, and The Orchard. (Dealers please contact NorthCountry Distributors, 315-287-2852.)
Locally Reiko is available at Records & Rogues, 1018 Truman Avenue, Key West, 305-296-4115.
Reiko and The Howland Ensemble are enjoying airplay in the Keys on WCNK 98.7 Conch FM, 305-872-0474.
Howland and New York jazz guitarist Joshua Breakstone joined former Knitting Factory performance artist Bea Licata in two special performances during the annual Erotic Festival at the Woodenhead Gallery in Key West. On February 9 the trio and reader Adrienne Haynes performed Licata's provocative theater piece Immaterial, and on February 12 Licata strapped on her signal processor for an evening of inspired poetry and improvisation.
In addition to the last two seasons' residencies at the Banana Café and at Virgilio's in Key West, Howland performed with Josh Breakstone in three April 2001 concerts sponsored by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts ArtReach program. These free concerts were sponsored in part by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, the State of Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and private donations.
Howland's research lives on
Performs with Key West Symphony, records with National Chamber Orchestra
December 10, 2001: Guy Frisch, a percussion instructor in Luxembourg, is writing a new thesis on the vibraphone, picking up where Hal Howland's published history left off in 1977. For information contact the Percussive Arts Society.
In its twenty-fifth-anniversary January 2001 issue, Modern Drummer magazine reprinted Howland's 1979 interview with jazz great Elvin Jones.
On December 6, 7, and 8 Howland played timpani and percussion in a fully staged production of Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors and seasonal carols with a national cast and the Key West Symphony Orchestra, Sebrina María Alfonso, conductor, at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Key West.
Howland plays timpani on the recent compact disc by the National Chamber Orchestra, Piotr Gajewski, conductor, featuring New York Philharmonic principal cellist Carter Brey and violin virtuoso Kurt Nikkanen, performing music of Steven Gerber (b. 1948). KOCH International Classics CD no. 3-7501-2 HI is available directly from Amazon.com.
Acclaimed jazz group, solo Howland in Vienna; NCO celebrates 15 years
February 10, 2000: The award-winning Howland Ensemble jazz group (Hal Howland, drums; Paul Pieper, guitar; John Previti, bass; Bruce Swaim, reeds), which Stereo Review calls "eloquent, modern, first-class," will perform at Jammin' Java, 231 Maple Avenue, East, Vienna, Virginia, 703-255-1566, on Friday, April 7, and Friday, May 26, at 8 p.m.
Also an accomplished singer-songwriter, Howland will strap on the 12-string at Jammin' Java on Thursday, March 23, Thursday, April 6, and Thursday, April 20, at 8 p.m.; and at the Luna Park Grille, 5866 Washington Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, 703-237-5862, on Thursday, May 4, at 9:30 p.m.
Howland has been the timpanist of the National Chamber Orchestra since its inception in 1984. In its fifteenth anniversary season the acclaimed orchestra, which the Washington Post calls "a lesson in elegance," performs Beethoven's Symphony no. 1, the Bernstein Serenade, Bizet's Symphony in C, Handel's Messiah, the Haydn Drum Roll Symphony, and other works. Call 301-762-8580.
Howland teaches at CU
Celebrates 15 years with NCO, 17 with Howland Ensemble
August 12, 1998: Hal Howland has been appointed to the percussion faculty of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at Catholic University. Howland has been the concert manager at CU since 1996. He earned his M.A. in musicology at CU in 1976, and his thesis, "The Vibraphone," published in the summer and fall 1977 issues of Percussionist, remains the definitive history of the instrument.
Howland is in his fifteenth year as timpanist (and charter member) of the National Chamber Orchestra, Piotr Gajewski, music director and conductor. Soloists with the NCO have included Manuel Barrueco, Carter Brey, Eugene Fodor, Eugene Istomin, Ani Kavafian, André-Michael Schub, and Barry Tuckwell. Call 301-762-8580.
The Howland composition "Second Chance," from the Howland Ensemble CD Reiko, appears on the OasisJazz™ sampler CD, produced by Oasis Recording. Call 800-697-5734.
Reiko, featuring Chris Battistone, Brian Bennett, Jon Metzger, John Previti, and Bruce Swaim, has earned excellent reviews from Cadence, jazz great Peter Erskine (author of Reiko's liner notes), composer Thomas Ludwig, Modern Drummer, Percussive Notes, Hugo Pinksterboer (author of The Cymbal Book), Royal Stokes (author of Swing Era New York), Talking Drums, and the Washington Post.
Here's what they're saying about Reiko
Colleagues and the media are unanimous in their praise
July 15, 1996:
"Hal Howland's recordings reward close and repeated listenings because they benefit from both strong compositions and talented contributors. Impressionistic, evocative, multi-thematic, lovely, dark-hued: a striking example of Howland's versatility as an arranger and colorist." Mike Joyce, the Washington Post
"This great production has a definite poetic quality. I can play it in the background, and I can play it if I want to listen to music—and there are not many CDs that have both. It is a fine balance." Hugo Pinksterboer, author of The Cymbal Book
"Seasoned, versatile, bustling, bouncing, impressionistic, inventive, exciting" Cadence
"Exquisite: a mature and deeply felt work of crystalline clarity" Talking Drums
"A great recording: deep jazz roots and a sense of vision" Percussive Notes
"A beautifully thought-out and realized production" Jazz great Peter Erskine, author of Reiko's liner notes
"Deft, unique modern jazz" Modern Drummer
"Great stuff!" Royal Stokes, author of Swing Era New York
Howland Ensemble returns to Blues Alley
New folk-rock group debuts at Luna Park
May 14, 1996: Washington's colorful Howland Ensemble (Hal Howland, drums; Dave Kane, piano; John Previti, bass; Bruce Swaim, reeds) celebrates the long-awaited release of its new CD, Reiko, at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C., on Monday, July 8, at 8 and 10 p.m. Call 202-337-4141.
Lost Ambulance (Happy Acosta, guitar, accordion, and vocals; Annette Gallant, guitar and vocals; Hal Howland, bass and vocals; Larry Taylor, drums), performing superb originals, Anglophilia, strange covers, blues, reggae, and more, will debut at the Luna Park Grille, 5866 Washington Boulevard, North, Arlington, Virginia, on Friday, September 20, at 9 p.m.
Howland Ensemble Reiko CD released
"A beautifully thought-out and realized production" Peter Erskine
November 1, 1995: Howland Records is pleased to announce the release of Reiko, the long-awaited new compact disc by the Howland Ensemble jazz group of Washington, D.C.
Containing nearly seventy-four minutes of rich and timelessly exciting European, mainstream, New Age, and fusion jazz, Reiko appeals to every listener.
In his liner notes, jazz great Peter Erskine says, "Good stuff survives the test of time. That's where Reiko comes in. For those of us who have thought of the Washington, D.C., area merely as home to most of this nation's politicians and bureaucracies, Reiko is good news. I really like the way these guys play. One can hear the continuum of this music, its past and future, in Reiko. This is a most enjoyable recording for me to listen to: music for our modern times."
Composed, arranged, and produced by award-winning jazz artist Hal Howland, Reiko features a sextet of Washington's finest jazz musicians: Chris Battistone, trumpet and flügelhorn; Brian Bennett, piano and synthesizer; Hal Howland, drums and percussion; Jon Metzger, vibraphone and marimba; John Previti, bass violin and bass guitar; and Bruce Swaim, soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones.
Reiko was recorded and mixed by Bob Dawson at Bias Recording, Springfield, Virginia; mastered by David Glasser at Airshow, Springfield, Virginia; manufactured by Oasis Recording, Silver Spring, Maryland; and designed and photographed by Britt Malmgren.
Reiko is available for purchase at fine record shops worldwide. Reiko is distributed by NorthCountry Distributors, Cadence Building, Redwood, NY 13679-9612.
Howland receives NEA grant, Musician award
Performs at Blues Alley, Corcoran, Reston Community Center
February 1, 1989: Washington musician Hal Howland has been awarded a $7,450 Jazz Performance Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for the purpose of presenting his jazz compositions in 1989: at the Frances and Armand Hammer Auditorium, Corcoran Gallery of Art, 17th Street and New York Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C., on Sunday, April 30, at 8 p.m., and at the Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston, Virginia, on Sunday, October 1, at 8 p.m. This project is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Howland Ensemble (Chris Battistone, trumpet and flügelhorn; Hal Howland, drums and percussion; Jon Metzger, vibraphone and marimba; John Previti, bass violin and bass guitar; Bruce Swaim, saxophones and flute; Keith Waters, piano and synthesizer) is one of ten national finalists, among nearly two thousand entrants, in the 1988 Musician magazine Best Unsigned Band Contest, judged by Elvis Costello, Mark Knopfler, T-Bone Burnett, and Mitchell Froom. "Bedouin Song," from the Ensemble's critically acclaimed, Wammy award-winning 1986 debut audiophile phonorecord The Howland Ensemble, appears on the CD compilation Best of the BUBs (Warner Bros. PR4757).
The Ensemble will perform also at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 5, at 8 and 10 p.m.