Originally from New Orleans, and while still in high school there, Al spent his weekends on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge absorbing the formidable talents of Carl Fontana- Al’s mentor. In later life, Fontana said of him “nobody gets around the horn any better than Al Hermann”.
While in New Orleans, Al was featured with the Dukes of Dixieland, called for the New Orleans Symphony, and was a regular at the Roosevelt (Fairmont) Hotel, where he backed such luminaries as Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Julie London, and Peggy Lee. He has sided with the Woody Hermann Orchestra, Lionel Hampton, Buddy Morrow, Wild Bill Davidson, Doc Cheatham, Ellis Marsalis, Spike Robinson, Warren Vache, Dave Grusin, Eddie Daniels, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Pietro, President Bill Clinton, and many other outstanding musicians.
Al has recorded with Carl Fontana on the Sea Breeze (Los Angeles) label. The CD, “The Jazz Trombone” (and Al’s playing in particular) received great reviews worldwide (including in the July 2005 Journal of the International Trombone Association). The CD was selected CD of the month by KUVO, Denver’s jazz FM radio station (October 2004), and was called “an amazing, happy, swinging, butt-kicking CD” by Eddie Daniels.
Al has given master classes and clinics in many universities throughout the world, and has performed at major jazz festivals in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. In October, 2005, Al performed at the Manly Jazz Festival and the Magnetic Island Jazz Festival in Australia. The Magnetic Island event introduced Al in their brochure as “one of the world’s finest trombonists”. He did club dates in Mumbai and New Delhi, India in December, 2005, did a tour of Italy with Bob Montgomery in March 2006, and the Bob Montgomery/Al Hermann Quintet again toured Australia during the fall of 2007, and Mexico in 2012 where they were headliners at the San Miguel Jazz Festival. Their latest CD, “On the Brink” (Summit Records) received critical acclaim worldwide and was selected CD of the month (August, 2007) by KUVO. The CD received a stellar review in Jazz Times (Dec.2007). Al’s tours in the Czech Republic in August 2008 and November 2013, and in Japan in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 included a series of sold-out performances.
Al was Professor Adjunct of Jazz Trombone at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO from 2008 to 2012, and is currently Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of Colorado-Boulder where he teaches a course in “The Physics of Sound and Music”.
Praise from Peers and Famous Jazz Authorities and Musicians
“One of the best trombonists on the planet”, Bill Watrous
“The trombonist I most enjoy since Rosolino. He plays the wheels off the trombone” – Fred Wesley, recording jazz/funk trombonist of James Brown fame
“Dazzled when I heard him. I highly recommend him to you.” – Joe Alessi, Principal Trombonist, New York Philharmonic
“A Master Jazz Trombonist”, Ellis Marsalis
“A Premier Jazz Trombonist who plays with absolute authority”, Dr. Herb Wong, past president of IAJE
“Critically-acclaimed trombonist with a magical touch”, WRIR-FM, Richmond, VA
“Virtuoso Trombonist”, Jazz Workshop Australia (Sydney)
“One of America’s foremost physicists, and an even better trombonist”, President Bill Clinton. Vail, Colorado, August 1993.