All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Jim Hession

Jim Hession Jim Hession

Jim and Martha Hession have been fixtures on the jazz scene for decades.

Jim Hession grew up in Pasadena, California, where he studied piano with composer Oscar Rasbach. By the time he was 20, Jim was a fixture in the traditional jazz scene, with his incredibly accurate two-handed piano style. A founding member of the Maple Leaf Club, Jim received his degree in composition from U.C.L.A., where he studied under Paul Chihara and Lalo Schifrin. Jim then met and began recording with the legendary Eubie Blake. While recording with Eubie Blake in New York, Jim began exploring more contemporary jazz venues, while retaining his handle on traditional jazz styles like ragtime, stride and boogie-woogie.

Martha Hession grew up in San Diego, California, where she began her piano and vocal studies. Martha attended San Diego State University, and U.C.L.A. with Jim. After teaching piano and a stint as a Montessori instructor, Martha began singing professionally with Jim.

Jim and Martha began their professional association with the Walt Disney Company in 1967. After performing at Disneyland, they were selected to be the first entertainers to open Walt Disney World in 1971. Later, Jim and Martha returned to California and continued their association at Disneyland and the Disneyland resorts until relocating to the Gulf Coast in 2003. In addition, over the years they have performed in innumerable music venues, from concert halls to jazz lounges.

Read more


”Jim Hession is the best stride pianist I have ever heard, having spent years studying the early styles and creators of jazz piano-he is really special. Go to YouTube and type Jim Hession in the search bar to see tons of piano videos-DO IT NOW!” -Lee's Journal (7.3.2008)

“...pianist Jim Hession's mastery of stride, boogie and so much more gets everyone smiling, not to mention swaying and stomping, from the jump.” Lee Horvitz (6.2008) “American Travel Journal”

“”Talented and versatile pianist Jim Hession has an eclectic mix on his new piano CD, revealing his technical skills and powerful left hand...” Tom Jacobson,”Mississippi Rag” (8.2008)

“Martha sang Billie Holiday's 'Lover Man' with ease, one of the 10,000 tunes in their repertoire...Jim is the most electrifying pianist I have ever heard-brilliant,talented and issues a relaxed sense of professional candor...” -David Cate,Tri-Cities TN Citizen Blog(9.2007)

”Their musical credentials are impeccable

Read more


Album Playing With Fire Volume One: The Giants of Stride by Jim Hession

Playing With Fire...

Self Produced



Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.