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Wednesday, November 13, 2002    Sir Roland Hanna

 

On, Wednesday, November 13 morning, Sir Roland Hanna passed away.
I remember seeing Sir Roland Hanna in Detroit quite often, and in Umbria in '87.
I read his name every morning when I awake and look at the Umbria poster lineup.
As with the passing of any of the great artists, we will miss him and
are grateful for the legacy he shared with us.

 

There will be a memorial concert WED Dec. 11 at Queen's College in NYC.

Aaron Copland School of Music to honor jazz legend Sir Roland Hanna, in memorial concert on

Wednesday evening, December 11, 2002, at 8pm, in LeFrak Concert Hall.

 

Free event -- No tickets required!!! Open to the entire college community.

For further details, please see the School of Music website or call the Music Office at 997-3801.

Guest performers include:

--Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)

--Jimmy Heath (sax)

--Barry Harris (piano)

--Grady Tate (drums)

--The QC Orchestra (the Queens College Orchestra), conducted by Maurice Peress,

--and others performers scheduled to appear at the December 11 memorial concert include

-- Yoshio Aomori (bass),

-- Cecil Bridgewater (trumpet),

-- Richard Davis (bass),

-- Jon Faddis (trumpet),

-- Barry Harris (piano),

-- Fred Hersch (piano),

-- Eddie Locke (drums),

-- Jimmy Owens (trumpet),

-- Jeb Patton (piano),

-- Carie Smith (vocalist),

-- Frank Wess (saxophone),

-- Paul West (bass), and

-- Michael Weiss (piano).

 

 

Press -> http://www.jazzradio.org/rhanna02scr.htm

For A PAST RECORD OF ELLINGTON BY HANNA AT LINCOLN CENTER

 

 

The following is from the biography on http://www.rahannamusic.com

 

Sir Roland Hanna was one of the major artists in jazz, and one of the most flexible pianists of any generation.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Sir Roland began his piano studies at an early age. After graduation from Cass Technical

High School and a two-year stint with the US Army Band, he continued his musical studies at the Eastman and

Juilliard Schools of Music. He then took a mega-mile career journey, performing in concert halls and clubs in the

major cities of the world. He was knighted, in 1970, by then President William V.S. Tubman of Liberia for

humanitarian services to that country.

 

He was a pianist who performed solo; contributed meaningfully to orchestras, bands, and small groups; and

provided sensitive, sympathetic accompaniment to such artists as the late Sarah Vaughn (for whom he was musical

director), Carmen McRae, and Al Hibbler. As a soloist, his finely tuned sense of time and Rock-of-Gibraltar left hand

enable him to create, without assistance, performances of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic excitement. As an

ensemble player, his individuality displayed musical talent that has been honed and refined with years of experience.

His experiences have included almost every aspect of music and have occurred in such disparate contexts as The

Benny Goodman Big Band, Charles Mingus experimental groups, The Eastman Symphony Orchestra, The Thad

Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, The New York Jazz Quartet, The American Composers Orchestra, the Lincoln Center

and Smithsonian Jazz Orchestras, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra.

 

In addition to an active itinerary that carried him to major clubs and auditoriums throughout the United States,

Europe and Japan, the 1990's provided Sir Roland the opportunity to return to his native Detroit as guest soloist

with The Detroit Symphony Orchestra to perform his composition, "Oasis," a work for piano and orchestra. Previous

performances of this work include its premiere by the Eastman Symphony Orchestra and the Swedish Symphony

Orchestra of Norrkoping. He also performed Duke Ellington's "New World a Comin'" and George Gershwin's

"Rhapsody in Blue" as featured soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. The pianist and

composer was the honoree of the 23rd Annual Paradise Valley Jazz Party in Phoenix, Arizona on April 15th and 16th in 2000.

 

In addition to his performance and recording endeavors, Sir Roland was also a prolific writer. His writing displays the

same talent, creativity, and versatility demonstrated in his performances. A catalog of over 400 compositions

includes not only works for standard jazz ensembles recorded by him and other recognized jazz artists; it also

includes trios for cello, flute and french horn, as well as larger works for piano and orchestra. Sir Roland's writing

incorporates a mixture of jazz and classical elements. It is a style often referred to as Classical Jazz. His works

also include a jazz ballet for jazz orchestra and strings, commissioned by the BalletMet of Columbus Ohio and

choreographed by Graciela Daniele. The ballet, "My Name is Jasmine, But They Call Me Jaz," had its premiere at

the Ohio Theater in that city in April 1992 and continues as part of the company's repertoire. A four-movement

"Sonata For Chamber Trio and Jazz Piano," was recorded on Angel Records in 1994; and, in 1996, his "Sonata For

Piano and Violin," commissioned by The Library of Congress, premiered in Washington, DC, choreographed by

Mr. Danny Buraczeski and the Jazzdance dance troupe. Expanded in 2000 to include cello, the work was performed

by the New York Philomusica Chamber Ensemble and the Sanford Allen Chamber Ensemble.

 

It is so wonderful that Roland was able to contribute to several points of the star of creativity. We will miss him.

The wake was on Sunday, November 17, and the funeral was in New York City, Monday, November 18.