“There aren't many famous trombone soloists left in jazz. John Hines' payoff is an excellent array of solid efforts, played with vigor and a fresh sound that should delight anyone who ever fell in love with the sound of the jazz trombone.
Hines plays his ax with prime advanced harmonic ideas, certainly with liquid phrasing, & an attendant voice-like, yet abstract sound. His robust & bright sonority interacts with ease with his group as he deftly weaves his wonderful web of solo artistry.”
--George w. Carroll, The Musician's Ombudsman
John Hines 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 1988 Montreux Jazz Festival, and for Carlos Santana at the 1988 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 in 1993. 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/Hines Devine Jazz.
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 Hines, 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.
Most recently, in 2015, John released his second major CD project, 'You & I,' featuring Donna DeVine on vocals, Michael Pagan on piano, Brad Goode and Tom Gershwin on trumpet, Tom Capek on synthesizer, keyboards and organ, Dave Rohlf on drums, Jason Malmberg on bass, and Christian Teele on percussion. This landmark release is available currently at http://HinesDevineJazz.com , or on CD Baby, iTunes, amazon, Google Music, and other major sites. It is truly a showpiece for the wide range of straight-ahead, Latin, pop/rock, and crooner vocal music played by this group.