A VERSATILE MUSICIAN WITH A UNIQUE VOICE
Paul Hanson’s musical journey is a testament of fearless dedication to craft and creativity. Over the last 20 years, Paul has rewritten the rulebook and set new standards for what is possible on this most classical of woodwind instruments. As one reviewer puts it, “But he simply transcends technique to a point where the listener no longer has in mind that it’s a BASSOON that he’s playing.” His explorations have transcended limitations and created new possibilities-all while making music of the highest quality. Paul’s repertoire encompasses musical aspects of all modern styles of improvised music. From his roots as an award-winning classical bassoonist and jazz saxophonist- Paul has sought to expand the lexicon of the bassoon while creating a unique musical voice.
As an improvising bassoonist-Paul has recorded and/or performed with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Wayne Shorter, Medeski Martin & Wood, Patrice Rushen, Abraham Laboriel, Will Kennedy, Bob Weir’s RATDOG, Peter Erskine, Billy Childs, Billy Higgins, Ray Charles, Charlie Hunter, Dennis Chambers, T. Lavitz from Dixie Dregs, Jeff Sipe, Jonas Hellborg, Omar Sosa, Bob Moses, Kai Eckhardt, Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble, The Paul Dresher Ensemble, DAVKA, St. Joseph Ballet Company, The Klezmorim, Cirque Du Soleil, as jazz soloist with the Oakland Eastbay Symphony Orchestra, as classical soloist with the Napa Symphony Orchestra (non-improvising) and many more. As a sax player-Paul has recorded and/or performed with Eddie Money, Boz Scaggs, The Temptations, Tower of Power, Kotoja, What It Is, Samba Ngo, Steve Smith, Tom Coster and others.
Paul has traveled throughout Europe, Japan and the States. He has appeared as a bassoonist at Carnegie Hall, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Berlin Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Leverkuzen Festival, the INTERLINK festival in Japan, the California Edge Festival 2005 and at the 1999 NAMM show in Nashville. As a performer/educator- Paul has performed and masterclassed at IDRS festivals from Rotterdam to Texas. He has given masterclasses at Ithaca College, Penn State University, Arizona State University and Portland State University-all specializing in modern performance techniques and improvisation for bassoonists and other classical instrumentalists. He was also the assistant bassoon professor and jazz improvisation instructor at Ithca College of Music in Ithaca, NY in 2004. Paul has taught at the Jazzschool and Cazadero Music Camp in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Paul was the 1996 Grand Prize winner of JAZZIZ Magazine’s WOODWINDS ON FIRE award-the first bassoonist ever to win. He also was the winner of the Robert Mondavi Woodwind concerto competition in 1984. Paul was awarded an NEA Jazz Fellowship in 1995. Paul is featured on Bela Fleck and the Flecktone's Grammy-winning album OUTBOUND in 2000.