About Adam Hawley
Guitarist Adam Hawley is a gifted performer, sideman, and educator, known for his lithe, groove-oriented approach to contemporary jazz and R&B. After working steadily for over a decade with many marquee jazz and pop artists, Hawley launched his solo career with his breakthrough 2016 debut album, Just the Beginning, which featured three chart-topping smooth jazz singles including "35th Street," "Joy Ride," and "I Don't Mind." He has remained a Top 30 Billboard Jazz regular with albums like 2018's Double Vision and 2020's Escape. His fourth album, Risin' Up, arrived in 2021. Along with performing, the guitarist has a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California, and balances his time between playing live and teaching at places like Musician's Institute, Chaffey College, and Saddleback College.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Hawley started playing music at age eight, first taking piano lessons at his mother's request, and then adding guitar lessons a year later. As a teenager, he played in church, toured with a bluegrass ensemble, and led his own blues band. Also during high school, a friend made him a mixtape which included George Benson's 1976 hit song "Breezin'," and ignited his enduring love of contemporary jazz. In 2002, he relocated to Los Angeles where he attended the University of Southern California, eventually earning his Bachelor's, Master's, and doctorate degrees in music. Since graduating, he has played in a variety of live and studio settings with a bevy of pop, jazz, and R&B artists including Natalie Cole, Jennifer Lopez, Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson, Rick Braun, Gerald Albright, Manhattan Transfer, Peabo Bryson, Euge Groove, and many more.
Although he had originally planned to record a solo album in 2005, the abundance of live and session opportunities kept him busy. It also afforded him time to build a strong following, and in 2015 he signed with Kalimba Records. A year later, he released his full-length debut Just the Beginning, which featured guest appearances by Albright, Groove, Eric Darius, and Michael Lington. The album performed well, producing three number one hits including "35th St.," which spent five weeks on top of the Billboard Smooth Jazz Chart. Hawley spent much of the next year touring in support of the album before joining Koz on tour in 2018. That same year, he returned with his sophomore album, Double Vision. Included on the album were contributions by Jeff Lorber, Darren Rahn, Marcus Anderson, Julian Vaughan, and others. Also included was a cover of Adele's "Hello." The album reached number 15 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. Hawley's third album, Escape, arrived in early 2020 and again cracked the Top 30 of the jazz charts. In August 2021, he released the full-length Risin' Up, which featured guest appearances by Steve Cole, Vincent Ingala, Julian Vaughn, and others. ~ Matt Collar