joe hertenstein is among the busiest drummers and band leaders of the improvised-music scene of new york city. trained at the hochschule for music and dance in cologne, germany, he came to new york in the mid-2000 to complete his master of arts studies at city university of new york. his mission was to learn from and explore music with many master musicians, some of which he calls friends and colleagues by now. he hopes to encourage and experience the dialogue with all cultures through music, through the abstract, through friendship and inspiration.
joe leads the bands hnh, polylemma, threestitchesformotherearth, future drone and future dronenyc and co-leads the piano trio “tørn”. his work has been released by such labels as moersmusic, cleanfeed, red toucan, jazzwerkstatt berlin, creative sources, 2nd floor/loft-cologne, skirl, leo, engine, and konnex.
he has performed at the philharmonic in cologne, and at the moers festival in germany, the warsaw jazz summer days, the bush hall london for bbc, the opera house in toronto, the world trade center in dubai, the john f. kennedy center for the performing arts in washington dc, as well as carnegie hall, webster hall, roulette, issue project room, the stone, nublu and the vision festival in new york city amongst others.
in 2005, the magazine allaboutjazznewyork hailed his drumming style as “…shaping the music from the bottom up.” and for april 2011, the managing editor of thenycjazzrecord, laurence donohue-greene, selected joe’s album crespect by tørn as “recommended new release”. the same year, the website www.allaboutjazz.com praised his album polylemma as thus: “the soloists’ focused interactions intimate a highly artistic game plan that supersedes the tried and true.” polylemma won belgian music critic stef gijssels’ freejazzblog’s happy new ears award 2011 for most innovative listening experience.
some of the international festivals joe has performed at are the hoeilaart jazzfestival brussels (be), jekerjazz maastricht (nl), the leverkusener jazztage, moers new jazz festival, triennale 2007, vivelejazz (ger), portalegre jazzfest (pgl), warsaw jazz summer days (p), vision festival, red hook jazz festival and nublu festival nyc, clean feed festival at the stone nyc, and many more.
the growing circle of international musicians he has worked with include ravi coltrane, kenny werner, chris potter, tim hagans, rufus reid, butch morris, juini booth, kenny wollesen, graham haynes, brandon ross, matt shipp, elliott sharp, alvin fielder, doug wieselman, ken filiano, anthony coleman, tristan honsinger, damon choice, damon smith, daniel levin, michael attias, daniel carter, mossa bildner, phil gibbs, sylvain leroux, steve swell, mat maneri, darius jones, jon irabagon, sean conly, todd neufeld, leo genovese, mikko innanen, achim tang, thomas lehn, frank gratkowski, scott fields, dieter manderscheid, matthias schubert, thomas heberer, achim kaufmann, sebastian gramss, thomas helton, damon smith, blaise siwula, carsten radke, terrence ngassa, and the james choice orchestra as well as nublu orchestra and luckycheng orchestra both conducted by butch morris; adam rudolph’s go:organic orchestra and karl berger’s improviser’s orchestra. hertenstein is a member of thomas helton’s the core trio with seth paynter.
2015 joe was artist in residence at the atlantic center for the arts.