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BS- Communications, Advertising Mgmt
MA Minor - Music, Trombone Jazz Performance
1983- Iowa State University School of Music Merit Scholarship
1983- Brigham Young University School of Music Scholarship
1988-2019: Multiple outstanding jazz soloist awards from festivals around the world.
Recording Artist for Capri Records: Releaed 'In The Pocket' in 2004 and 'You & I' in 2014
Bio: John came out of the successful, state championship student jazz program at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. After studying under Ray Smith (Brigham Young University) in Provo, Utah, he played with the internationally known big band, Synthesis, including opening for Gerry Mulligan's big band at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and for Carlos Santana at the Antibes Jazz Festival outside Monte Carlo, France.
After building a successful career in advertising and technology marketing, he picked up his playing pace when he moved to Denver. While still doing it on the side, he plays professionally for several orchestral and jazz groups in and around the Denver area, including frequent performances with his own John Hines Quintet/Table for Five. He was an active supporter of the Colorado Jazz Workshop for several years, primarily under the tutelage of trumpet virtuoso Hugh Ragin, and is involved with several efforts to bring more jazz to Denver.
In 2004, John was signed to the Capri Records label, and released his first major CD, 'In The Pocket,' which was met with significant critical acclaim. The title song, an original by John, was a finalist in the 2005 International Songwriter Competition in the Jazz category. John was also a featured ensemble player and soloist on the 2005 CD release, 'Pag's Groove,' by composer/arranger/ pianist Michael Pagan (also under the Capri Records label). In November, 2005, John was selected to perform with the KUVO 20th Anniversary All-Star band, with Hugh Ragin, Paul Romaine, Phil Urso, Kenny Walker, Eric Gunnison, and others, which opened for visiting artist Marian McPartland.
His playing has been described as being a mix of Curtis Fuller and Steve Turre, but with an almost “vocal quality” that makes him easy to access and internalize. And his compositions and arrangements are all solidly rooted in jazz melodies which feel good to the listener. Think of him as the “Chuck Mangione of the modern jazz trombone.” According to Ann Braithwaite: “Hines' trombone voice is striking in its tonal clarity, and he never succumbs to mawkishness. Hines has an attractive musical personality that's shaped by familiarity with his instrument in the jazz past and present. His articulate lines suggest those of Curtis Fuller, the renowned Jazz Messenger and Count Basie sideman, in their pleasing melodic disposition. Hines's musical ideas draw on swing and bebop but also on jazz from present times; contemporary trombonists Steve Turre and Robin Eubanks would join older players Slide Hampton and Bob Brookmeyer in approving of what results from his creative thought. The colors and accents Hines tucks into the flow of each of [his] tracks keep the flow of the music constantly riveting to the ears. Glad to say, first-rate musicianship goes hand in hand with the carefully managed emotion at the core of his playing.”
John can be heard regularly throughout Denver with multiple big bands, as well as his and Donna’s own sextet, Hines-DeVine Jazz, which is a strong, accessible ensemble consisting of Trombone, Trumpet, Piano, Bass & Drums, and featuring the talented and beautiful Donna DeVine on vocals. This group has gained a following by playing a wide range of both original and familiar music which is ever-changing and always surprising. This is the only group actively playing trombone-vocal jazz duet arrangements, providing an intriguing combination which connects with listeners both young and old, and introduces them to a whole new way of looking at jazz music.
I have been teaching select students on the side for as long as I can remember. In addition to the basics of the trombone, I'm a big believer in the power of transcriptions and listening as a way to advance personal study and practice, which has produced some really great players. I have a beautiful, large music studio, and I even rehearse a 20-piece big band (the Denver Jazz Orchestra) in my basement, which any trombone student would love to watch and maybe even sit in with. I'd love to share my experience and skills with a new generation of trombone students (which I know are becoming more and more rare these days).
Much of this depends on where the student is in their learning progression--if they are just starting out, then I will focus on the fundamentals of good trombone playing, and work with the basic books like Arban's methods for Trombone. I also have used the Hal Leonard series. But as soon as possible, I will move the student into both listening and playing assignments, starting with artists whose transcriptions are more accessible for both range and technique: Curtis Fuller (including transcriptions I created in college, which are really amazing for students), Hal Leonard's JJ Johnson collection, my own recordings and transcriptions, and Etudes for Jazz from Mike Carubia & Jack Gale. If they are more advanced, I would introduce select Bill Watrous transcriptions. I find students have more fun and advance more quickly when they take a combined approach with both listening and playing assignments.
Collaborative--I like to inspire students with the potential sound of this beautiful instrument--the trombone is unlike any other instrument, and the success or failure depends on the internal drive students are willing to apply. So keeping them motivated and inspired is the most important thing here, and I take that very seriously. I find that constantly hearing how it can and should sound is one of the best ways. I am uniquely able to expose them to not just recordings, but live, working examples of great trombone players, because I rehearse a working big band at my house every other week, and students are welcome to come watch or join. THAT is inspiring! So I need to dig into the student's level of desire, and try to fire that up with each lesson and interaction.
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