Howard Fishman Defies Convention

Howard Fishman, a most unconventional artist, will take the stage at the Door Community Auditorium with the Hot Holy Mess Friday, Oct. 28.

“I think of my sound as New Orleans/ Brooklyn music,” Fishman said when reached by phone at his home in Brooklyn last week. “It has New Orleans rawness and soul and jazz. But from Brooklyn it has that urban grittiness, and the underground pop and rock thing. It’s exuberant, kind of like a party.”

His songs are full of horns, snares, piano, violin and Fishman’s endearing blend of Lou Reed’s cadence and Tom Waits’ storytelling.

He has taken turns at the fringe of the limelight – he’s a favorite of critics who has been profiled in the New York Times, Village Voice, and NPR’s Fresh Air – but categorizing his music is near impossible, and thus tough to sell to one who hasn’t heard or experienced it. It’s one part jazz, one part big band, one part gospel, one part rock, and a lot of parts of something else.

Fishman presented a songwriting workshop to Door County high school students Thursday before an impromptu show at Husby’s Thursday night. His show Friday begins at 8 pm. Tickets ($35/$28/$22) are available at, at the auditorium box office or by calling 920.868.2728.

Read a full profile of Fishman at