City Winery Pittsburgh Presents: Derrick Hodge Live in Concert on August 6th at 8pm
Derrick Hodge is one of our moment’s most complete and complex musicians. A prolific composer, musical director, bandleader, producer bassist and advocate, Hodge has played on some of music’s most iconic albums, written & performed breakthrough orchestral arrangements and compositions, scored an impressive catalog of film and television work and created evocative sonic installations for prestigious cultural institutions, all alongside his work as an activist in the field of emerging young musicians. To date he has been awarded two Grammys, named a Sundance Composer Fellow, received the Motif Award; one of Nation’s highest honors for Child Advocacy, and his playing on Common's “BE” has been officially recognized as one of top 20 basslines in Hip Hop History.
The last year has proven to be fruitful for Hodge, arranging and conducting the orchestra for the National Juneteenth Celebration at the Hollywood Bowl, the 94th Academy Awards, the SuperBowl LVI “Lift Every Voice” performance, as well as Jeezy’s Thug Motivation 101 performance with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Hodge describes his career as “speaking existence into possibility”; driven by a passion for music rather than genre, he is an artist defined only by his multiplicity. As lauded a composer as he is revered as one of THE great bassists and musicians of his generation, he is critically acclaimed across genres and mediums and boasts a diverse and devoted global audience. Growing up just outside Philadelphia, Hodge’s talent was quickly recognised by the luminaries of the city’s neo-soul movement, and whilst still in college he became the bass player and Musical Director of choice for pioneers including Jill Scott, Maxwell, Floetry, Nas, Common, James Posyer and Musiq Soulchild. Simultaneously he was forging a career in jazz circles with the likes of other legendary musicians including Terence Blanchard, Donald Byrd, Mulgrew Miller and Bootsie Barnes while also holding a star place in his university’s orchestra.
The trust and admiration Hodge commands among musicians - and the expertise he commands in his craft - is unparalleled, and has seen him play a foundational role in a wealth of groundbreaking projects. In 2014 Hodge became the first Black composer to compose Hip Hop for the National Symphony when he acted as Orchestral Arranger and Music Director for the iconic event “20th anniversary celebration of Illmatic” which saw Nas perform the album with the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Steven Reineke’. The event - which was named by FENDER as one of the top moments in Hip Hop history - was also the first time Hip Hop was ever performed by the National Symphony and at the Kennedy Center.
Tellingly, Hodge has been the ‘first’ many times in his career: including being the first Black composer to write strings for Hip Hop at Carnegie Hall (as Arranger for Mos Def in the venue’s first full Hip Hop show in 2008),and the first black composer to write symphonic music for Hip Hop with the Houston Symphony (as Creative Director & Arranger for Common with the Houston Symphony in 2019),
This habit of breaking new ground and forging new paths hints at how significant a cultural force Hodge is in ways beyond music. In 2017 he was commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of AfricanAmerican History and Culture to write the installation music that accompanies their permanent exhibit about Oak’s Bluff: “The Power of Place”. The exhibition explores how place is something defined as much by people as by geography, and how Oak’s Bluff became a place of collective imagining, struggle, achievement and freedom for a burgeoning African American community. Hodge went on to compose for “Social Dance” - part of the NMAAHC’s seminal ‘Cultural Expressions’ floor, which explores African American and African diaspora culture - and for their “Making A Way” exhibit, which pays tribute to the creativity, agency and resilience with which individual African Americans crafted opportunity and possibility in the face of racial oppression.
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Dine during your show! Your tickets reserve your table for dinner and full bar service before and during the show. We suggest arriving when doors open (see check-in time below) for the best dining experience.