Born: April 13, 1955 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
SIMON SPANG-HANSSEN saxophonist & composer 1955 Born in Copenhagen, Denmark on April 13th
1970 Starts playing alto-saxophone, later also tenor and soprano
1976 Member of ”Strange Brothers” with Peter Danstrup , Ole Rømer and John Tchicai.
1978 Receives the annual Ben Webster Price and creates his own quartet Spacetrain” with Ben Besiakov, Jesper Lundgaard and Alex Riel.
1979 Plays in many different groups with among others: Jan Kaspersen, Pierre Doerge, Marilyn Mazur, Atilla Engin, Okay Temiz, Mozar Terra, Chuim, Jesper Zeuthen,the Voodoo Gang….
1983 Joins the sextet of Brazilian drummer and composer Nenê, tours in Denmark and France (double-concertsl with Hermeto Pascoal e Grupo).
1985 Moves to Paris and plays with a.o.: Denis Badault ( National Jazz Orch.,quartet,duo,) Andy Emler, Nguyên Lê, Quintet Moutin, Ramuntcho Matta, Edouard Ferlet and with his own projects including musicians such as: Richard Bona, Billy Hart,Niels Lan Doky, J.F. Jenny-Clarke, Bojan Z., Alain Jean-Marie, Simon Goubert,Xavier Desandre, Mariane Bitran…
1995 Release of ”Mardi Gras, Chez Toi” and creation of ”Maaneklar” (a quintet with sax,flute, bass and two percussionists). Release of”Ekwata”, duo with D. Badault.
1998 Moves back to Copenhagen and creates the tentet ”Central Earth” with among others: Poul Reimann,Fredrik Lundin, Bjarne Roupé, Marc Davis, Anders Mogensen…records ”Wondering” with Maaneklar for Dacapo.
1999 Concerts and recording with a new quartet with Thomas Clausen, Jesper Lundgaard and Billy Hart.( ”Identified” Dacapo ). First performances with ”Ear Witness” with Emil Spányi, ,Linley Marthe and Felix Sabal-Lecco.
2000 Creation of ”Flower Machine” with Thomas Agergaard, Klavs Hovman and Marilyn Mazur.
2001 Concerts in quintet with a.o. Anders Bergcrantz and Kasper Villaume.
2002 French Quartet” with Franck Tortiller, Yves Torchinsky and Francois Laizeau ( ”Noctiflore” Altrisuoni ). Release of ”Dancing on Monday” with Flower Machine. Member of the ”United Notions” saxophone-quartet.
2003 Release of ”Ear Witness” and ”Live in Copenhagen Jazzhouse” w. Central Earth (Music Mecca ).
2005 New 5-tet with Bob Rockwell, Peter Dahlgren, Jeppe Skovbakke/ Yasser Pino and Karsten Bagge . ”Rainbow Spirit” with Dawda Jobarteh, Thomas Fonnesbech and Ayi Solomon.
2006 Member of Edouard Ferlet’s ”l’Echarpe d’Iris” with Alain Grange and Xavier Desandre. New octet-version of ”Maaneklar” with a.o. Kristian Jørgensen, Bent Clausen, Benita Haastrup, Mariane Bitran...Member of Emil Hess Evolution Nonet. Quartet with Mario Canonge, Michel Zenino and Tony Rabeson. Member of Niels Praestholms EMBLA.
2007 Start of the record label Alisio ( Spangster Records), release of Rainbow Spirit and ”Coexistence” with the 5-tet. Member of Alain Apaloo's API PIPO.
2008 release of The Riddle with Ear Witness. Live-recording in Copenhagen Jazzhouse with MAANEKLAR XL. Nominations for Danish Jazz Awards: Composer of the Year, Album of the year: Coexistence, cross-over album of the year : Rainbow Spirit.
2009 Alisio Ensemble, concerts and recording. Member of Art Ensemble Syd, Niels Praestholm Gyroscope String Trio + , concerts with Special Quartet ( Kristian Joergensen,Jesper Lundgaard and Kaare Munkholm). Recordings with Hiroko Komyia and Ramunntcho Matta. Raise Four hommage à Th. Monk with Benjamin Moussay, Yoni Zelnik and TonyRabeson.
2010 Weather Report Tribute ( w. Joergen Emborg, Bo Stief, Niclas Campagnol and Ayi Solomon), tour with Alisio Ensemble.. Concert at the Museu de Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Brazil with Mariane Bitran, Enéias Xavier, Irio Junior and André Limao Queiroz... studio-recording with Special Quartet.
2011 Tours with Api Pipo and Alisio Ensemble.
2012 Tour in Denmark and Brazil ( Savassi Jazz Festival) with Brazilian Project, Sarajevo Festival and tour in France with Niels Præstholm Gyroscope String Trio feat. Haakon Berre & S.S.H. Release of Citizen Song with Special Quartet. Jahazi Literary & Jazz Festival (Zanzibar) with Rainbow Spirit. Tour in Denmark and Sweden with Decagon
2013 Liberty with Michael Gregory Jackson and Art Ensemble Syd. Luna Moon with Sébastien Boisseau and Christophe Lavergne.
On a more occasional basis Simon has also played with: Stefan Meinberg, Matthieu Michel, Mederic Collignon, Paul Brousseau, Daniel Zimmermann, Geourgui Kornazov, Chris Stover, Bertrand Renaudin, Francois Mechali, Marc Ducret, Misja Fitzgerald Michel, Aske Jacoby,Assi Roar, Frands Rifbjerg, Nils Bo Davidsen, Kresten Osgood, Darrel Grant, John Betsch, Johnny Dyani, Zool Fleischer, Michel Benita, Gilles Naturel, Albi Cullaz, George Brown, ...
Awards:The "Ben Webster-Prize" 1978
Simon Spang-Hanssen, tenor & soprano saxophone, whose imagination seems unexhaustible... Michel Contat , Telerama ( FR )
He makes you think of Johnny Griffin because of the vélocity and the impatience, Dexter Gordon because of a sort of half-feinted nonchalance , immediately contradicted by his George Adams side ( a certain way of transgressing the references by lyricism and excess ) Franck Bergerot , Jazz Hot ( FR )
Simon Spang-Hanssen is a very impressive technician whether performing on alto or soprano-sax. Simply put, this guy can play ! ..Wondering is yet further evidence of an enormously talented conglomerate of Danish Jazz musicians who are willing to take chances yet produce music that is surprisingly accessible. Glenn Astarita allaboutjazz
” …is in incredible shape, and in both ”Trinity Blues” and ”Flip Fool” his playing almost makes you think of Sonny Rollins: energy and imagination seems unlimited” Joergen Siegumfeldt (Berlingske Tidende, DK )
and yes, “our man” provides his best, as well as when he makes you think of Ornette Coleman in Marocco (on soprano), plays the flute with reminiscences of Abdullah Ibrahim, or is simply himself”.
Flemming Olsen ( Jazz Special sept. o8 )
« Simon Spang-Hanssen possesses the art of enthousiasming himself and his fellow musicians.... »
Frank Buchmann-Moeller ( Fynsk Stiftstidende, DK )
” The soprano finds its own sound, profound, sometimes enchanting, with the particular lyricism that is special for small-bodied instruments (and one notices a touching kinship with the harmonica of TootsThielemans in “Lady Love”. “ Yvan Amar ( Jazzman, France )
“Spang-Hanssen places himself in a sort of post-bop tradition; and his playing, while staying highly personal, evokes that of grand masters like Coltrane, Rollins or Lacy.”
Sylvain Siclier ( Jazz Man , France )
“An ardent European saxophonist, with a Texan sound, round, fleshy and with a passionate phrasing.”
Michel Contat ( Telerama, France )
ABOUT “Central Earth” live and CD (“South of Nowhere SPCD 001) “Saxophonist Simon Spang-Hanssen is a composer of remarkable originality. Undoubtedly colored by his collaboration with a large spectrum of musicians during his long stay in Paris, the pieces had either African, Middle-Eastern or orthodox jazz-accents, without, at any point, giving the impression of being exercises in style. And- not least important- in a way so that appeared to have the melodic element as a determinating factor for the formal structure. At the same time the ethnic imprint was not so strong as to mask the basic jazz-roots of Spang-Hanssen: the final tune “Dexterism” was a vital, almost fiftyish classic blues and others were more or less modeled on the A-A-B-A form of American song-tradition.” Thorbjoern Sjoegren , ( Politiken, DK )
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Ensemble-playing. Based on a series of originals the students( all levels ) works with interpretation, form , section-work, creativity, spontaneous arrangements, reading, understanding of structure, sound, improvisation... Ideally the clinic runs for a couple of days and end with a concert.
"Rhythmic Music Conservatory", Copenhagen ,the Fyen Conservatory, music-schools in Sønderborg, Brandbjerg(Denmark )... Clinics in Grenoble,Rouen, Montpellier (France ), Mexico D.C.