Genres:Jazz - JazzPop/Light Jazz, Jazz - Fusion, Jazz - Free/Avant-Garde
Van Hunsberger is a past John Phillip Sousa award winner while attending Dowagiac (Michigan) Union High School, A two-time attendee of the acclaimed Interlochen music camp, an alumni member of the Michigan Marching Band and holder of a Masters’ Degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan. He is also a member of Local 625 of the American Federation of Musicians.
His extensive musical background allows him to play styles ranging from orchestral works, progressive rock and jazz-fusion to big band swing. With drumming influences by the likes of Neil Peart, Nick D’Virgilio, Omar Hakim, Manu Katche’, Carter Beauford and a host of legendary jazz players, Van’s stylistic diversity is certainly an asset to a wide variety of musical projects.
Van plays regularly with “The Couriers”, a nine-piece jazz/big band group with vocals that features the big band artists of the 40’s & 50’s such as Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown and Count Basie. The Couriers are led by trombonist Al Townsend, who in the late 40’s & early 50’s held the 1st trombone chair in Gene Krupa’s Orchestra. The Couriers, who are listed with the Lorio Ross Sterling Entertainment Agency, play regularly in the Southeastern Michigan (Detroit) area for a wide variety of high profile public and private gigs and occasionally have ventured as far as The Waldorf Astoria in New York City for a recent private event. Van was also a 10 year member of “The Ambassadors”, which was a 17 piece big band with vocals that played regularly in the Detroit area.
He also is a member of “Phil Ogilvie’s Rhythm Kings”, an Ann Arbor based, 20’s & 30’s style jazz orchestra led by Grammy-nominated pianist James Dapogny, which features many of the areas finest jazz musicians and is also an on call player for various small combo gigs in and around the Ann Arbor/Detroit area.
Van also records in his Pro Tools based digital home studio for various local or national projects that may arise. Having the ability to digitally record live multi-tracked drums has proved to be a valuable asset in Van’s musical development. His ability to easily swap files from coast to coast means creativity and collaborations are no longer limited by great distances as proven by his work with artist in San Diego, Seattle, Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.
Florida based Dwight Mitchell and North Carolina based Soulful Terrain have had tracks with Van’s home studio drumming featured on Christian Progressive Rock compilation cd’s, CPR Vol 1 & CPR Vol 2, which have also included national artists Neal Morse, Kerry Livgren (Kansas), Rick Wakeman (Yes), Glass Hammer, Ajalon, David Bainbridge (Iona) among others. Several of the tracks from Dwight’s “the Diary” CD and all the tracks from the upcoming CD “Astoria” by Soulful Terrain will use Van’s home studio recorded tracks for the final CD mixes.
Van currently performs and records on his vintage 1980 Rogers XP-8 maple drum kit with assorted Rogers, Ludwig, Tama & Pearl snares as well as a wide variety of Zildjian A Custom, K Custom and K Constantinople cymbals.