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Meet Ludi Hinrichs—

It should come as no surprise that a fellow born in St. Louis would be attracted to music— especially jazz and blues licks for which the city on the Mississippi is best known. And when you realize that his name— abbreviated to Ludi when he was a boy— is actually Ludwig, it’s clear that his musical fate was sealed upon birth.

Ludi Hinrichs is most often identified with the trombone, but he is also an accomplished pianist,
a vocalist and plays the didjeridu, among other musical devices.

His performances reveal a wide array of experiences— matched by a keen improviser’s ear and a commitment to his craft. From Nevada City clubs and galleries to concert halls in foreign lands, Ludi is always full of surprises.

In 2002, he performed at the prestigious Tokyo Summer Festival in collaboration with veteran Beat Poet Gary Snyder. From that unique event, a two-CD set entitled, Mountains and Rivers Without End, was produced and released.

He has also produced and released three live recorded CD’s of his own to date. Music of My Life, a retrospective work which highlights the piano influences of Monk, the microtonal studies
of Harry Partch, and the trombone stylings of J.J. Johnson.

His second CD, Quintet Live, features a finely tuned combo of some of the finest jazz players in the region including bassist Greg Keranen,
(“Curly “) of Johnathan Richman’s group. Check out Ludi’s scat singing on “Four.”

His 2007 release, Kairos/Kronos, includes sounds of Balinese Gamelan transposed to piano, an unusual treatment of didjeridu sounds played on trombone with a tabla accompaniment, and deep meditative journeys played on the three foot diameter Sun-Earth gong.

In 2003, Ludi introduced his Piece of Peace, a seven-movement suite that premiered at the Nevada County Composers Concert.

 

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One of the more challenging and rewarding commissions he received was back in 2000, when the city of Nevada City asked him to rewrite the National Anthem to be performed solo for the dedication of the renovated city hall. He remembers councilman Steve Cotrell’s wishes— ”Turn it around, you know, sort of in the way Jimi Hendrix did back when…” Ludi explains— “So when the time came, I first played the theme on piano as it may have sounded when Francis Scott Key adapted it, then on each successive verse added an element of my own, eventually scat singing, then wailing on the trombone to something which people still stop me on the street and comment on!”

A recent commission from the Saving the Sierra organization has just been completed and is due to be aired on NPR late Spring of 2008. This was a very inspired project focusing on the development pressures of three Sierra ecosystems, and the music reflects the beauty of Mono Lake, Martis Valley in the high country, and Sierra Valley ranchlands.

A recipient of the Nevada City Chamber’s 2004 Live Music Award, Ludi continues to teach, record, perform, and compose from his home on the San Juan Ridge in the Sierras.

 

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