All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Roland Hanna

Roland Hanna Roland Hanna

Sir Roland Hanna was one of the major figures in jazz. His diverse experience as a musician (pianist and cellist), composer, arranger, teacher, diplomat, and humanitarian made him a dynamic driving force in the development of the art form.

Born in Detroit in 1932, Hanna's first musical influence was the gospel and rythm and blues heard in his preacher father's church. This was coupled with formal training in classical piano from an early age. His musical evolution continued beyond graduation from Cass Technical High School and through a two year assignment in the United States Army Band. After the army, he studied at the Eastman School and then Julliard. In 1958 he played with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, appearing at the Newport Jazz Festival and on a European tour ending at the Brussels World's Fair. In 1959, he played with Charles Mingus at the Half Note.

During the sixties, he traveled the world appearing with major orchestras, leading his own group, or performing as a soloist. In 1969, he embarked on a benefit tour in Africa for music students. In recognition of his humanitarian efforts for education in Africa, he was knighted by Liberian President William Tubman in 1970.

His amazingly varied career includes serving as Sarah Vaugh's musical director, anchoring the Rosengarden Orchestra on the Dick Cavett show, touring with a classical quartet performing his cello compostitions, forming the New York Jazz Quartet, while writing over 400 compositions and recording over 40 albums.




Album Colors From A Giant's Kit by Roland Hanna

Colors From A Giant's...

IPO Recordings

Album Tributaries: Reflections On Tommy Flanagan by Roland Hanna


IPO Recordings

Album Everything I Love by Roland Hanna

Everything I Love

IPO Recordings

Album I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues: The Songs of Harold Arlen by Roland Hanna

I've Got a Right to...

IPO Recordings



Roberta Gambarini Roberta Gambarini
voice / vocals
Stan Getz Stan Getz
saxophone, tenor
Joe Lovano Joe Lovano
saxophone, tenor
Tony Bennett Tony Bennett
voice / vocals
Bob Brookmeyer Bob Brookmeyer
Tony Scott Tony Scott
Michael Feinstein Michael Feinstein
voice / vocals

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.