What: Ari Hoenig Trio

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Deschutes Brewery Mountain Room, 901 SW Simpson Ave., Bend

Cost: $44 plus fees (includes small-plate food)

Contact: rimshotproductions.net or 541-385-8606

It’s not that composing music is particularly difficult for jazz drummer Ari Hoenig.

He’s certainly prolific — his songs have appeared on his seven studio albums as a bandleader, most recently last year’s “The Pauper and the Magician.” Over the course of nearly two decades, Hoenig has explored solo drum work with his first two albums (2000’s “Time Travels” and 2002’s “The Life of a Day”), hip-hop and folk rhythms (2011’s “Lines of Oppression”) and funky post-bop (his 2008 album with his Punk Bop Band, “Bert’s Playground”).

Hoenig just doesn’t like the composing process, as he’s mentioned in past interviews and repeated during a recent conversation with GO! Magazine.

“It can be really a grind, and even when I have an idea that I’m really into and I really love,” he said from his home in Brooklyn. “But still, developing that idea and making it into a whole piece is still not a very fun process to me.”

Put Hoenig onstage behind his kit with a band or even by himself, and it’s a different story. When he’s performing, Hoenig doesn’t consider himself an improviser as much as a composer writing on the spot — but in this setting, he’s able to become absorbed in the creative process.

“It’s a very similar process, actually,” he said. “But the difference is that I don’t have to solidify anything on paper, but I solidify it in time and in the music itself.”

That could be changing, at least for the trio Hoenig has been working with for the last year and a half. For the first time in his career, he’s been writing collaboratively with the group, which features pianist Nitai Hershkovits and bassist Or Bareket. The trio will play at the Deschutes Brewery Mountain Room on Saturday.

“I have probably a handful of trios that have been very active, but this group with Nitai Hershkovits and Or Bareket is definitely one of the strongest groups that I’ve had,” Hoenig said. “We play a mix of my original music and standards, like usual, but also there’s some things that we’ve composed together as a band that we will be playing, as well. So that’s new; that’s a different thing for me. I haven’t really done that with my groups before, which is composing with a band. We’ve had that luxury to be able to do that.”

It’s also much different from how Hoenig usually writes music. Having led groups ranging in size from duos to nine-piece big bands (not to mention playing alongside modern jazz giants such as Joshua Redman, Matt Penman, Kenny Werner and Joe Lovano), Hoenig is less concerned with instrumentation in his bands than with the personalities of the players, he said.

“When I write music, I don’t necessarily know … what instrumentation that I’m writing for,” Hoenig said. “I really, really think about just writing the song first, and I just think about the song. And then after I write the song, I think, OK, how am I gonna portray (it) and how is this song gonna come to life in a band that’s a trio or a quintet or what other instrumentation that I have to work with?”

It follows, then, that Hoenig is used to shifting his music and playing to fit different instrumental lineups. The trio that will play Bend has worked up some arrangements of songs from “The Pauper and the Magician,” including the eastern European-tinged “The Other” and “Alana,” despite the fact the album was recorded with a quintet.

The album, which features five compositions by Hoenig plus a take on “You Are My Sunshine,” was the drummer’s first in five years. He was inspired, in part, by the stories he makes up for his children featuring the title characters. The stories are different every time — not unlike jazz improvisation.

“Definitely, very much — that’s creative,” Hoenig said. “It’s the creative instinct. It’s definitely the thing that I enjoy probably most about playing jazz, being able to do that.”

To accompany the album, Hoenig collaborated with a filmmaker friend, Steve Brickman, on a five-minute YouTube trailer. The clip finds Hoenig sucked into a surreal fantasy world after discovering a book of magic spells left to him by a great uncle.

“It was nice to have a creative outlet that wasn’t music, that was different than music,” he said.

Hoenig said he has enough material for a new album, including the songs he’s been working on with Hershkovits and Bareket. But he is in no rush to record a follow-up to “Pauper.”

“A big reason to make records was to document the music that was happening,” Hoenig said. “For example, I’ve been playing with Nitai and Or, and we definitely have our own thing, our own language. It’s a unique group, and it’s a group that I would feel very strongly that I would want to document. But with these days, everything’s being videotaped, recorded, and we’ve done so many gigs together. … I feel like the music is kind of really well-documented, so that takes out that reason to record.”

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