Jennifer Hodge, a busy Vancouver-based bass player, bandleader, and arranger, is a versatile musician who can be found playing with a wide variety of artists all over the world. When Jen is leading the band, she likes it hot – hard swinging grooves, boisterous New Orleans style horns, cheeky lyrics, intriguing arrangements, plenty of spontaneous fun, and an evident, infectious love for making music. Jen’s particular expertise in the arena of traditional jazz has taken her to stages all over Canada, the USA, China, Spain, France, the UK, and the Caribbean. On home turf, Jen can be found leading a band on Wednesday nights at Guilt & Co, a bar in Vancouver’s historic Gastown district and a major hub for the city’s musical creative minds, where she has held a regular gig since January 2011.
Originally from Courtenay, BC, on Vancouver Island, Jen began playing bass at age 11 with the full intention of making a career out of it. She started to do her first paid musical gigs at age 15, both in pit orchestras for local musicals and with a rock band which rehearsed in her friends’ garage and performed in local festivals and restaurants. Jen relocated to Vancouver in 2002 to attend the Jazz Studies program at Capilano University, through which she completed a B.Mus. degree in 2007 and was named the first recipient of the Linton Garner Memorial Jazz Award in 2005. In recent years, Jen is in frequent rotation on CBC Radio through over two dozen recordings in both the side player and bandleader context; has been hired by CBC British Columbia five years running to program the musical selections and direct the Company B Jazz Band during high-profile live broadcasts for the annual CBC British Columbia Food Bank Day; has backed up internationally acclaimed artists such as Bria Skonberg, Brad Turner, Conal Fowkes, Casey MacGill, Rebecca Kilgore, Ken Lavigne, Petunia & The Vipers, and Canadian big band legend Dal Richards, both locally and internationally; and has been hired twice (2011 and 2013) by CTV/Bell Media to provide custom ensembles and music for their television commercials advertising the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. 2017 marked Jen’s tenth year performing in said festival, an occasion which she marked by presenting a program of music written solely by living Canadian traditional jazz musicians on Canada Day.
“Jen is a mainstay of the traditional jazz scene in Vancouver; nay, she’s not just a mainstay, she may even the nucleus.” – Solomon Douglas, pianist & bandleader, Seattle, WA, September 2016
“Hot lyricism with beautiful melodic statements and just the right blend of rocking collective improvisation.” – Michael Steinman on the Jen Hodge All Stars, JAZZ LIVES, New York, NY, December 2016