Howard Fishman
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Howard Fishman

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Jazz


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""Transcends time and idiom""

"The group combines traditional elements to create its own brand of classicism that transcends time and idiom." - Stephen Holden - THE NEW YORK TIMES


"Howard Fishman, who performed Thursday at Lunaria, sings with a sound reminiscent of Lou Reed, mixing sardonic accents with a vulnerable subtext. His guitar playing ranges from a country twang to a strumming drive recalling Freddie Green's work with the Count Basie rhythm section. Add to that his songs, with their juxtaposition of poignant wistfulness and dark emotional intensity, toss in arrangements that allow wide open spaces for jazz-driven improvisations, and you have a performer who defies idiom.

...At a time when performers in virtually every genre are trying to stretch their stylistic boundaries, Fishman refuses to acknowledge that boundaries exist."


""Haunting and affecting""

"Led by the guitarist and singer Fishman...who spent his formative years in New Orleans, this quartet has played such diverse locales as The Oak Room, Sardi's and Pete's Candy Store, a neighborhood bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With such an eclectic resume, it comes as no suprise that Fishman defies easy categorization. The band's latest an affecting, haunting collection of cunning originals." THE NEW YORKER - The New Yorker

""Something entirely new.""

"Howard Fishman has often had to contend with being misunderstood, not only by the occasional rogue audience member but by critics as well. His rustic yet elegant music suggests traces of western swing, early jazz, vintage folk, and blues, yet it isn't exactly any of these things. Rather, it is an unforced marriage of songwriting and improvisation, borrowing and stealing from a variety of idioms and using them to create something entirely new." DOWNBEAT - DOWNBEAT


"The Howard Fishman Quartet may sound like the name of a jazz group, but jazz isn't really a word that comes close to describing the varied influences of the band. New Orleans funk, classical music and pop all appear in a scintillating mix. The band, which includes a violinist and trumpeter, is held together by Fishman's gritty singing style and a clutch of brilliant songs that feel swept off the doorsteps of Tin Pan Alley." THE WASHINGTON POST - THE WASHINGTON POST

""Motley and fearless.""

"The indefatigably investigative foursome push the envelope as far as they can and then farther. What started as appreciation of music from early in the 20th century has turned into exploring new avenues leading into the 21st. Motley and fearless." - The Village Voice


"Howard Fishman has earned enthusiastic notices in New York for his contemporary jazz-cabaret music. Backed by an offbeat chamber-pop lineup of trumpet, violin, string bass and his own acoustic guitar, the unassuming Fishman sang of young moderns in the big city to a sound that evoked New Orleans, the Hot Club of France, Kurt Weill and musical points beyond. On ``Do What I Want,'' the quartet steps away from jazz and moves into rock territory, adding electric guitar, keyboards and drums, and the result is less precious and even more compelling than before. Fishman sounds something like a less-innocent Jonathan Richman or less-acid Lou Reed. Which means he's got the range to stroll in the sunshine and prowl the dark streets after midnight, too." - THE BOSTON HERALD

""Moody, dangerous, ancient...""

"Moody,dangerous,ancient,modern,ruthless,longing,explosive and quiet." -

"Critics' Top 10 Albums of the Year"

(Charted at #3 by RS writer Andrew Dansby) "American gothic sounds drawn to and from New Orleans: backwoods bluesy with a jazzy dash of Django, tastefully peppered with fierce instrumental breaks." - Rolling Stone


* I LIKE YOU A LOT (2001)
* DO WHAT I WANT (2003)
* LOOK AT ALL THIS! (2005)



Fresh off his Lincoln Center debut, Howard Fishman has retained a steady buzz among music cognoscenti for the better part of a decade. Hailed by tastemaker publications worldwide, including THE NEW YORK TIMES, ROLLING STONE, THE NEW YORKER, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, Fishman's live show is cathartic, uplifting and intense, combining the exuberance and spontaneity of jazz with a storyteller's sense of drama, emotional depth and play.

Fishman began his career on the streets on New Orleans and in the subways of New York, but has since found a cult following worldwide for both his independent releases (6 CDs to date on his own MONKEY FARM label with 3 more slated for release in 2010) and his explosive and intimate performances. Headlining venues include: Lincoln Center, Joe's Pub and The Blue Note (NYC); The Steppenwolf Theater (Chicago); The Pasadena Playhouse and the Knitting Factory LA (Los Angeles); World Cafe Live and NXNW (Philly) and The Vermont Arts Exchange.

Fishman has been a frequent guest on NPR, with feature-length profiles appearing on FRESH AIR with Terry Gross, WORLD CAFE with David Dye, SOUNDCHECK with John Schaefer and THE LEONARD LOPATE SHOW.

Ever-evolving and increasingly difficult to pin down, Fishman has moved through early jazz, blues, country, folk, free jazz, classical, rock, funk, ska and most recently New Orleans brass band and gospel music. DOWNBEAT has called his music "something entirely new."