Jeremy Hoekstra
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Jeremy Hoekstra

Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Solo Pop Acoustic

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Music

Press


"Awake and Waiting"

Holland Sentinel 9/19/2008
By Leslie Speyers

At 28, Jeremy Hoekstra (www.jeremyhoekstra.com) has grown and developed his sophomore album to reveal a sound that appeals to many and reveals more of his personal style. Don’t let his laid-back style and unassuming vibe fool you. Hoekstra’s second album, “Awake and Waiting,” proves this local musician’s talent is something you can take seriously.

Hoekstra started his musical career an early age, singing in a church choir. In high school he further developed his singing ability through Vocal Dimensions at Holland High School. He added instruments to his musical resume when he found a guitar in his parent’s basement and taught himself to play using songs by his favorite musicians such as Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Gin Blossoms, before graduating to writing and playing his own music. Hoekstra quickly put his singer-songwriter-musician skills to use in a high school garage band, My Friend Licorice. During college, he was part of the worship team at Hope College, while he continued to write and develop his own style.

Hoekstra strives for others to appreciate both the quality and uniqueness of his music and himself as a musician. “I want people to see something different. I want to be light in darkness. I want to create quality music that has something to say.”

Hoekstra’s blended musical style is the result of a varied musical influence, including simple, thoughtful music like jazz and folk to the more powerful and melodic 90s rock. He takes instrumental elements of jazz songs, simple melodies from folk or bluegrass music, and the singer-songwriter style of 90s rock music. If he had to put his music in a genre, Hoekstra would say it’s folk-rock or indie, like musicians such as Mat Kearney or Bebo Norman.

In March of 2006, Hoekstra released his debut solo album, “The Struggle of Hope,” a self-produced collection of music developed between 2001 and 2006. The album was well received, and sold out its first print run. “The music is chill and introspective, reflective of my life during that time,” he said.

Hoekstra’s second album, “Awake and Waiting,” includes 11 original tracks he wrote and produced since 2006. “The most important goal is my music brings hope and truth to people,” said Hoekstra. But he also hopes this album will build on the foundation from his first album. “It has a more upbeat, pop style. The melodies and sounds are catchier and more uplifting. It’s a better representation of the musician that I am.”

The songs on “Awake and Waiting” are centered on the theme of the title track. They reflect the exciting and sometimes frustrating reality of finding your purpose or pursuing a goal. The tension of wanting to move forward but not being sure where to go. Hoekstra believes others in his generation will identify with this feeling and believes it will also resonate with audiences of all ages.

Hoekstra is celebrating the album’s release with a show tonight at 8 p.m. at LemonJellos (61 E 9th street). He and his band will play songs from “Awake and Waiting,” as well as a few favorites from “The Struggle of Hope.” Cara Hoekstra, his sister and a fellow musical talent, will be making a guest appearance at the show. She is also featured on two tracks on the album. Jonathan Y, a friend and fellow indie musician, will open for Hoekstra.

Those who attend the release show at Lemonjello’s can expect great music in a great atmosphere. “It’ll be a fun, upbeat, all-ages show,” said Hoekstra. “The music is broad enough, there will be something for everyone.”

On Saturday, Hoekstra and his band will play at 3 p.m. at the Columbia Arts District Festival (451 Columbia Ave).

“I’m excited to do these shows in Holland,” said Hoekstra. “It’s where I grew up, so it’s good to go back and kick things off there.”

Hoekstra has performed with such artists as Mat Kearney, Griffin House, Jon Troast, and Josh Schicker. He travels around the region performing at festivals, clubs, and coffeehouses, but playing in his hometown—and LemonJello’s in particular—is special.

“Lemonjello’s is my favorite Holland venue. I love the diversity of the crowd and the fun atmosphere. It’s a staple in the community and the owner supports local art, which makes it a great environment to play in,” said Hoekstra.

Copies of “Awake and Waiting” are on sale for $12 at the shows tonight and Saturday, and are also available at LemonJello’s, the Hope College bookstore and online (jeremyhoeskstra.com); songs will be available on itunes at a later date.
- Holland Sentinel


"Local Songwriter Is Having a Party"

Grand Rapids Press Article 12/13/07

Written by Terry DeBoer

GRAND RAPIDS -- Local singer-songwriter Jeremy Hoekstra is having a party.
"Basically, we wanted the feeling of a Christmas party," Hoekstra said. "A fun night with a bunch of Christmas music that we arranged ourselves."
So Hoekstra, with the help of fellow artist -- and sister -- Cara, came up with "Rudolph's Razzle Dazzle Christmas."
"We've got some silly little prizes to give away," he said. "It should be a fun night where people can come out and bring their families."
It's a bit of a departure for the acoustic-indie-folk-rock artist and Holland native, whose more serious side reveals thoughtful songwriting expressive of his desire to produce quality art with integrity.
Hoekstra, 28, musically came of age during the 1990s, a fan of pop-rockers such as Gin Blossoms and Toad the Wet Sprocket. Yet he's very much into the singer-songwriter motif of talents from James Taylor to Mat Kearney.
It was a special thrill for Hoekstra to open a show for Kearney last year in Grand Rapids.
"I love being thoughtful with the lyrics, but still bringing a little acoustic with sort of a rock edge to it," he said.
Hoekstra said his latest songs, including "Awake and Waiting" and "Bring It to the Light," are poetic, catchy tunes that bring those elements together. The songs will be on his next CD, a follow-up to his 2006 solo project, "The Struggle of Hope."
The Holland High School and Hope College graduate learned music singing in church choirs. As a teen, he played drums in a garage band (My Friend Licorice) and was part of Hope's chapel band.
The son of David and Sally Hoekstra, of Holland, he is accompanied in his current band by his drum-playing father, a city councilman.
Jeremy also leads music for the contemporary worship service at First Evangelical Covenant Church on Grand Rapids' West Side. But he continues to pursue his solo artistry.
"Right now, I'm averaging about four concerts a month," Hoekstra said. "And I'm trying to branch out."
For the Christmas show, the brother-sister tandem is injecting new life into some of the old standards -- several with a touch of acoustic blues. In the set list are tunes from "Go Tell It On The Mountain" to "Frosty the Snowman," as well as traditional carols. - Grand Rapids Press


Discography

Give it Up - EP (2017)
Angels We Have Heard on High - Single (2017)
Learning the Hard Way - Single (2018)
We're Alright - Single (2018)
O Little Town of Bethlehem - Single (2018)
Lead Me - Single (2019)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Jeremy Hoekstra is an artist from Grand Rapids, MI who has been making music for over ten years. He is part of the movement of musicians redefining what it means to be a pop/singer-songwriter, bringing multiple genres of music together to create a unique sound.

Jeremy began writing songs and learning to play a variety of instruments while in high school. In college, Jeremy joined a band that played music at weekly college gatherings.  It was here where he expanded his skill set as an artist, collaborating with others, learning the art of music production, while playing in front of over a thousand people each week. He has been honing his craft ever since, writing, recording, and producing four independent albums, making guest appearances on other albums, working as a studio musician, freelancing as a songwriter and producer, serving as a worship and music director, and having the privilege of performing with the likes of Mat Kearney and Griffin House along the way.