Conrad Herwig: There's Nothing Else

Bob Kenselaar By

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AAJ: You were talking earlier about your other early influences back in high school in Hawaii. I understand there was someone else of special note from those days—Barack Obama, who you went to school with in Honolulu, at the Punahau School.

CH: Yes. I'm a supporter of President Obama, and I'm proud to say that I admire him. Growing up in that time in that place, we shared a common experience. He's two years younger than me. Ours was a fairly small school, and we had the same teachers. We weren't friends, really, but we had some mutual friends in common. The band room and the basketball courts were right next to each other. I love to play basketball, and it sounds like an excuse, but I broke my left hip when I was in 9th grade and had six pins put in it, and I wasn't really supposed to play. But I kept playing a little pick-up basketball, and I played a little pick-up ball with him. He used and abused me. He was good. I learned after a while he always goes to his left.

Also, President Obama was in the choir at school, and I have the yearbooks to prove it. I was in the orchestra, and every Christmas we would always do the Hallelujah Chorus together. So, I'm one of the few people on the planet who has actually gigged with the President. He may be better at basketball, but I'm a much better trombone player than he is.

Selected Discography

Conrad Herwig, A Voice Through the Door (Criss Cross Jazz, 2012)
Conrad Herwig/Richie Beirach/Jack DeJohnette, The Tip of the Sword (RadJazz, 2011)
Conrad Herwig, The Latin Side of Herbie Hancock (Half Note, 2010)
Conrad Herwig, The Latin Side of Wayne Shorter (Half Note, 2008)
Conrad Herwig, A Jones for Bones Tones (Criss Cross Jazz, 2007)
Conrad Herwig, Sketches of Spain y Mas (Half Note, 2006)
Conrad Herwig, Obligation (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Conrad Herwig & Brian Lynch, Que Viva Coltrane (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Conrad Herwig, Another Kind of Blue: The Latin Side of Miles Davis (Half Note, 2004)
Conrad Herwig, Land of Shadow (Criss Cross Jazz, 2003)
Conrad Herwig, Shades of Light (Steeplechase, 2002)
Conrad Herwig, Hieroglyphica (Criss Cross Jazz, 2001)
Conrad Herwig, Unseen Universe (Criss Cross Jazz, 2000)
Conrad Herwig, Osteology (Criss Cross Jazz, 1999)
Conrad Herwig, Heart of Darkness (Criss Cross Jazz, 1998)
Conrad Herwig, The Latin Side of John Coltrane (Astor Place, 1996)
Conrad Herwig, New York Breed (Double Time, 1996)
Conrad Herwig, The Amulet (Ken Music, 1991)
Conrad Herwig & Richie Beirach, Intimate Conversations (Ken Music, 1990)
Conrad Herwig, With Every Breath (Seabreeze, 1987)

Photo Credits

Page 1, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Mason Gross School of the Arts; photo by Larry Levanti
Page 2, Christopher Drukker
Page 3, Jos. L. Knaepen
Page 4, C. Andrew Hovan
Page 6, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Mason Gross School of the Arts

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