Ryan Hoffman has been part of the Seattle music scene for over 20 years and has played extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Ryan grew up in Kansas City. He first picked up the guitar at age eleven and started playing in working rock bands as a teenager. He continued to play in rock, alt-rock and punk bands through college until he became interested in traditional American music styles; bluegrass, blues, folk and ragtime. His interest in roots music led him all over the country, touring and seeking opportunities to play and learn. A five month stay in New Orleans inspired him to take up swing jazz, and being a lover of acoustic music, the move to Gypsy jazz seemed natural. The style is so rich for the guitar.
In 2000, Ryan spent several months in France researching Gypsy Jazz music. After which he returned to the U.S. to start Zazou. Based in Seattle, Zazou has been a popular Gypsy Jazz band around the Puget Sound for over 10 years. The group has released three CDs: Zazou, Djangolotry and Merle Noir, has played in private and public venues all over the region, toured the West Coast, contributed original music to a movie soundtrack and had their music used for a series of local TV commercials. In 2004, Ryan returned to France and The Netherlands for an extended stay to study with guitarists Fapy Lafertin and Sammy Daussat. He also had the good fortune to play alongside outstanding guitarists, Angelo Debarre, David Reinhardt, Noe Reinhardt and Sebastien Giniaux at jazz jams in Paris.
In 2007, he joined the Northwest’s most well known Gypsy Jazz combo Pearl Django and began touring a gigging internationally. Ryan has shared the stage with many renowned artists, including Martin Taylor, Fapy Lafertin, Bucky Pizzarelli, Larry Coryell, Howard Alden, Andreas Oberg, Robin Nolan, Tcha Limberger, Olli Sokkeli, Ken Peplowski, Darol Anger, Connie Evingson, Dave Kelbie, Greta Matassa and Gail Pettis. He has also performed with the Seattle Musical Theatre and the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra. Ryan’s playing and compositions are featured on Pearl Django’s CDs, “Systeme D” and “Eleven”.
Ryan continues to manage Zazou and his own combos, as well as work as a recording artist. He plays with Pearl Django, Zazou, the Ryan Hoffman Trio and sits in with other local bands such as Hot Club Sandwich, The Djangomatics and Bric-a-Brac on occasion. He maintains a busy teaching schedule teaching private lessons, clinics, school classes and online lessons. In his private life, he loves to spend time with his wife and young daughter or in the kitchen, cooking up something or other.