PAUL HANSON BIOGRAPHY
A VERSATILE MUSICIAN WITH A UNIQUE VOICE
Paul Hansonʼs 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 itʼs a BASSOON that heʼs playing.” His explorations have transcended limitations and created new possibilities-all while making music of the highest quality. Paulʼs 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 a jazz/fusion bassoonist: Paul has recorded and/or performed with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Wayne Shorter, Miguel Zenon, SF Jazz, Peter Erskine, with 6-string bassist in the group OoN, Billy Childs, Harmonica virtuoso Gregorie Maret, Billy Higgins, David Binney, Ray Charles, Charlie Hunter, Patrice Rushen, Alex Acuna, Dennis Chambers, Abraham Laboriel, Medeski Martin & Wood, Bob Weirʼs RATDOG, T. Lavitz from Dixie Dregs, Jeff Coffin, Jeff Sipe, Jonas Hellborg, Afro/Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, Bob Moses, Kai Eckhardt, Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble, The Paul Dresher Ensemble, DAVKA, St. Joseph Ballet Company, The Klezmorim, 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 (tenor sax soloist on the 1985 hit song “Take Me Home Tonight”), Boz Scaggs, The Temptations, Tower of Power, Steve Smith, Tom Coster, Randy Jackson, What It Is, Omar Sosa, dobroist Rob Ickes, sessions for Lucas Arts Electronic Games, Sony Music and many more.
In 2008 Paul was invited to create his own role as electric improvising bassoonist in Cirque Du Soleilʼs ZED-a resident show at Tokyo Disney Resort. This unique creation performed 380 shows a year from 2008-2011. Rarely if ever has the bassoon been utilized in such a fashion-to this day Cirque Du Soleil auditions bassoonists for the sole purpose of appearing on ZED in a role Paul helped develop and create. 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 taught masterclasses at IDRS festivals from Rotterdam to Texas. He has given masterclasses at Ithaca College, Penn State University, Arizona State University, Oklahoma University, University of Wisconsin, Memphis State University, University of Northeaster Oklahoma, University of Arkansas and Portland State University-all specializing in modern performance techniques and improvisation for bassoonists and other classical instrumentalists. Paul has also been bassoon professor at Ithaca College School of Music in 2004. Paul was a featured clinician/performer at the 2013 IDRS Conference in Redlands CA. AWARDS AND EDUCATION Paul was the 1996 Grand Prize winner of JAZZIZ Magazineʼs WOODWINDS ON FIRE award-the first bassoonist ever to win. He also was the winner of the Robert Mondavi Woodwind concerto competition in 1984 in California. Paul was awarded an NEA Jazz Fellowship in 1995. Paul Hanson appears on Bela Fleck and the Flecktones album OUTBOUND which won a Grammy for best contemporary jazz recording of 2000. Paul has a BM in Bassoon Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.