Ari Hoenig is a jazz drummer, composer, and educator known for his unusual and intense approach to drumming emphasizing complex rhythms in direct harmony with other group members. Ari is widely noted particularly for his drumming not being relegated to just keeping tempo, or being a side issue to the music he plays in, but rather for elevating drumming as an indispensable part of the performance.
After attending the prestigious University of North Texas for three years, Ari transferred to William Patterson College in northern New Jersey. He soon found himself playing for legendary Philadelphia organist Shirley Scott and working regularly in New York City.
Shortly thereafter, Ari moved into Brooklyn and began playing extensively with a variety of groups, including Jean Michel Pilc Trio, Kenny Werner Trio, Chris Potter Underground, Kurt Rosenwinkel Group, Joshua Redman Elastic band, Jazz Mandolin Project and bands led by Wayne Krantz, Mike Stern, Richard Bona and Pat Martino.
Both of Ari's self-produced solo drum CDs, "Time Travels" (2000) and "The Life Of A Day" (2002), document his exploratory nature and they represent an ambitious tribute to the melodic possibilities of the drum set. Today, Ari continues to build on the concepts of these two records by playing largely improvised solo concerts using a simple four-piece drum kit without help from extraneous percussion instruments.
The Ari Hoenig Quartet was formed at the end of 2002 while playing every Monday night at the New York Village jazz club Fat Cat. The band featured Jacques Schwarz-Bart on tenor sax, Jean Michel Pilc on piano, and Matt Penman on bass. They released two records on the Smalls Records label: "The Painter" (2004) and the DVD "Kinetic Hues" (2005)
In 2013 Ari and his quartet won the prestigious BMW Welt (World) award in Munich, an international competition for best band led by a drummer.
As an educator, Ari teaches privately and is on faculty at New York University and the New School for Social Research in New York. He gives clinics and lectures at music schools and universities worldwide.