STRASBOURG JAZZ INITIATIVE
STRASBOURG JAZZ INITIATIVE 

 

RICK HANNAH

Jazz Guitarist

"His talent for improvisation constantly surprises audiences

spellbound by such elegant classy music,

constantly reinvented and deeply humanist"*

 

Short Bio (Full Resume below)

Jazz guitarist, composer and arranger, Philadelphia-born Rick Hannah began playing guitar at age 12, primarily rock and other music popular at the time. Moving to Los Angeles, for the next 15 years his main focus was a fusion of Jazz, Funk and Blues, touring throughout Europe with such notables as Alphonse Mouzon, Bunny Brunel and Brian Auger.

 

Seeking a deeper understanding of jazz and its roots, Rick then decided to devote himself exclusively to American classic jazz; he played and recorded with one of the top jazz and R&B bands in the area, the Billy Mitchell/John Bolivar group.    Returning to the East Coast, Rick formed a trio with Phil Cunneff and Tom Baldwin, releasing the CDs, "Oui Bop" (String Jazz) ,"Encore Oui Bop" (Mainstem ) and “The Beatles Project” (Mainstem) - a salute to Rick’s first influence in music.   

 

In addition to performing and recording, for many years Rick taught guitar and jazz ensembles and lectured on the history of popular music at the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus and Harford Community College.   He was awarded grants for performing (2002) and composition (2003) from the State of Maryland Arts Council.

 

Rick settled in Strasbourg, France in 2005 and formed his new Trio; releasing the CD,"Going Forward".  Today the Rick Hannah Trio is fully international, with French drummer Thomas Laedlein-Greilsammer and Maurice Kuehn joining from Germany on acoustic bass, performing

a variety of classic jazz-based music as well as Rick's original compositions and creative treatments of jazz standards.   Unlike guitar trios of the past, the Rick Hannah Trio explores the historic piano trio format developed by Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, among others, and emphasizes the unique dimensions in sound offered by the guitar.  

 

Rick also created the Guitar Big Band de Strasbourg, an ensemble of jazz guitarists performing in the Big Band style, playing Rick's arrangements of standards along with some Beatles and George Benson tunes. The GBB's CD "From This Moment On" was released in 2014.

 

Rick teaches jazz workshops at the CEDIM school in Strasbourg; in 2012 he established a non-profit association, the Strasbourg Jazz Initiative, dedicated to promoting live jazz.   His most important musical influences are Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans and George Benson; he regularly performs as a solo artist, and his Solo Jazz Guitar CD, "Handful of Strings", was released in 2015.

*Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace (translation)

 

Contact: handfulofstrings@gmail.com / tel international.: +33 683 379 389 / tél France 06 83 379 389

Videos www.youtube.com/user/StrasbourgJazz

 

FULL RESUME

RICK HANNAH

JAZZ MUSICIAN

GUITARIST - ARRANGER - COMPOSER - EDUCATOR

"His talent for improvisation constantly surprises audiences spellbound by such

elegant classy music, constantly reinvented and deeply humanist"*

Resume p. 1/3

 

BRIEF OVERVIEW

Over four decades of guitar performance and teaching experience.    

Ability to teach all non- classical styles at all levels

Plays many styles, with strong emphasis on jazz

Excellent reading and improvisation skills

Played and performed guitar for 45 years in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles as well as in Europe.

Performs in all three classic formats of Solo, Duo and Trio

Formed the Rick Hannah Trio (guitar/bass/drums) after relocating to France in 2005.

Created the Guitar Big Band de Strasbourg, an ensemble of guitarists playing his arrangements of standards in the Big Band style.

Has taught jazz ensemble classes for all instruments and developed an ensemble class dedicated to guitarists - in addition to individual private lessons at all levels in all non-classical styles.

 

PERFORMANCE & RECORDING

  • Toured Europe on four separate occasions, playing many different venues, including Montreux Jazz Festival.

  • Performed, recorded and/or toured with (among others):

    • Alphonse Mouzon (drummer with Weather Report)

    • Bunny Brunel (bass player with Chick Corea)

    • Brian Auger (Trinity; Oblivion Express)

    • Billy Mitchell/John Bolivar Group (Los Angeles)

    • After Hours Vocal Jazz (Baltimore)

    • Rick Hannah Trio (Strasbourg)

    • Guitar Big Band de Strasbourg

       

CDs include Rick Hannah's original compositions as well as original arrangements of jazz standards. Excerpts from all CDs on http://Strasbourgjazzinitiative.org/

 

"Handful of Strings" Rick Hannah: Solo Guitar Jazz

Four-star review at All About Jazz : https://tinyurl.com/gl5v6x4

 

"Two-Man Jazz Band" Rick Hannah with Erwin Siffer: Guitar/Piano duo

Four-star review at All About Jazz : https://tinyurl.com/hsnv3op

 

"From This Moment On" Guitar Big Band de Strasbourg

"Going Forward" Rick Hannah Trio

"Oui Bop" Rick Hannah Trio

"Encore Oui Bop" Rick Hannah Trio

"Beatles Project" Rick Hannah Trio

Palindrome” Hannah Bros Group

 

Additional CDs on which Rick Hannah plays guitar:

Keys To The Heart” Brian Auger

Passion” Billy Mitchell Group

Something Beautiful” Christopher Mason

"My Favorite Things" Julia Boman Band

Sabatini” Stephano Sabatini

After Hours” After Hours Vocal Jazz

 

SELECTION OF CD and CONCERT REVIEWS

 

"...Joe Pass...set the bar at seeming impossible height. However, guitarist Rick Hannah takes up the challenge, and with Handful Of Strings, shows us how it is done.... The mix of pure line playing, melody with accompaniment, walking bass and chordal melody playing always varies and what is going to happen next is many times surprising. What the tune is, and where Hannah is in the tune is never is question, although the harmonies can get quite altered....This is a master at work." (All About Jazz, 4-star review, at

https://www.allaboutjazz.com/handful-of-strings-rick-hannah-best-effort-productions-review-by-budd-kopman.php

 

* "Guitarist Rick Hannah's lively trio speaks elegantly in the service of timeless jazz, drawing sharp arabesque lines, melodious interlacing, dressing immortal jazz standards with a shimmering jewel of which swing remains the essential feature... Playing tightly but uncluttered, in the way of a classical trio, the three musicians establish a peaceful dialogue where each instrument consults with and then moves back from the others. Rick Hannah reigns supreme in this consistently exemplar trio, while his talent for improvisation constantly surprises audiences spellbound by such elegant classy music, constantly reinvented and deeply humanist." Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace 27/07/2007 (translation)

 

"The very remarkable jazz performance by a six-string virtuoso, Rick Hannah, astonishingly rich in feeling...nothing less than marvelous....." Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace, 11/07/2007 (translation)

 

"Rick Hannah is a Strasbourg-based American guitarist whose playing is precise and elegant...Combining chords and notes with clean attacks, he has developed his own way of playing jazz - it's mainstream, elegant, upscale, chic and elegiac, all without being sad. The type of jazz that for decades has known how to delight us while always sounding up to date. He played his own compositions along with standards by Benny Golson, Duke Ellington, Russell Lee, Rodgers and Hart, Shelton Brooks Billy Strayhorn, George Harrison. Remember this name: Rick Hannah, his fame will go far beyond Alsace. This man has something important to say." www.agitato.net (translation)

 

"Rick Hannah's guitar playing is impeccable, even the difficult parts. His improvisations on standards such as "Embraceable You" and "My Romance" were full of acoustic nuances. There were rich adaptations of Beatles songs. His original composition "My Musette" created a bridge between the French cafe and jazz. The public was conquered and greatly applauded. The overall atmosphere of the concert was excellent, and the trio was very engaged in its music. (Review of Birdland59 concert (6 June 2014) translation - complete original German text at http://www.birdland59.de/index.php?id=108

 

"Hannah offers clarity and technique; rolled into a tight musical package. This CD is packed with original fragrance...like fine perfume, for those with discriminating taste" (CADENCE)

 

AUDIO EXCERPTS: https://tinyurl.com/myx6uxk

 

VIDEOS: https://tinyurl.com/kopgqt3h

 

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

 

2008-current:

 

CEDIM (Centre d'Enseignement et de Développement de l'Improvisation Musicale).

Strasbourg, France. Classes:

  • BEBOP & SWING WORKSHOP

  • GUITAR BIG BAND WORKSHOP

  • INDIVIDUAL LESSONS (GUITAR)

 

1996 – 2005

Taught at the following educational institutions in the state of Maryland (USA)

 

  • UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, BALTIMORE COUNTY (UMBC)

  • HARFORD COMMUNITY COLLEGE (Maryland)

  • MUSICIANS INSTITUTE OF BALTIMORE (MIB)

  • FRIENDS SCHOOL, BALTIMORE, MD (1996 - 1997)

     

Classes included:

 

JAZZ ENSEMBLE. Small/medium size group (4-9 persons) emphasizing classic jazz compositions and styles as well as playing techniques and concepts related to jazz in a combo setting. Used songs from Real Books, along with some original compositions and arrangements of standards. All Instruments.

 

GUITAR (Acoustic and Electric). All non-Classical styles, including jazz as well as other popular styles. All levels from beginner to advanced.

Developed a curriculum specifically for non–Classical performance majors, with a strong emphasis on jazz concepts as applied to the guitar.

 

MUSIC LAB. the lab class to complement the general music theory class, including interval training, music dictation, and sight singing.

 

IMPROVISATION. Theory, chord structure, and soloing techniques emphasizing the jazz vocabulary. All Instruments.

 

HISTORY OF AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC, from 1850 to the present day.

 

HISTORY OF JAZZ. A survey course on the development of Jazz in America, from 1900 to the present day.

 

Contact:

handfulofstrings@gmail.com

richardhannah@orange.fr 

 

 

 

The Rick Hannah Trio at Birdland (Ettlingen, Germany) - Photo W. Eisele