Hanna studied classical piano as a boy, but was strongly interested in jazz. This increased after his time in military service.
He studied at Eastman School of Music and Juilliard School. He worked with several big names, such as Benny Goodman and Charles Mingus, in the 1950s although only briefly in both cases. Then from 1967 to 1974 he was a regular member of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. Afterwards he was part of a noted New York Sextet.
Roland Hanna was in semi-retirement for most of the 1980s, though he returned to music later in the decade. He is usually referred to as “Sir Roland Hanna” as he was given an honorary knighthood by President William Tubman of Liberia.
Sir Roland Hanna, along with Jimmy Heath, was a professor of jazz at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (CUNY) in Flushing, NY.
Edited by carloberg on 21 Jan 2008, 18:49
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