April 26th, 2020 10:30pm Stage 3
Sarah Hanahan is an up-and-coming jazz saxophonist in New York City and is a recent graduate of the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz within the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford). Now a resident of New York City but originally from Marlborough, Massachusetts, Sarah grew up listening to a wide variety of music, but always had a special love for jazz. Her father, who plays drums and percussion, introduced Sarah to music and gave Sarah her first saxophone at the age of 8. Sarah played lead alto sax for the Marlborough High School jazz band. As a high school senior, Sarah was lead alto for the New England Conservatory Prep Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Ken Schaporst, who taught her much about the history and tradition of big band music. She also studied with tenor saxophone great, Jerry Bergonzi.
In 2015, Sarah was awarded a full scholarship to study jazz performance at the Jackie McLean Institute. Her college professors include well-known jazz saxophone performers Javon Jackson and Abraham Burton. The Jackie McLean Institute has also afforded Sarah the opportunity to receive instruction from and perform with accomplished jazz musicians such as bassist Nat Reeves and trombonist Steve Davis.
In addition to her heavy gigging schedule, Sarah and her band has had many amazing opportunities over the last few years to play at festivals and clubs such as opening for Helen Sung at the Paul Brown Bushnell Park Monday Night Jazz Series 2018 Finale, debuted at the Side Door Jazz Club, the Walnut Hill Jazz series at the New Britain Museum of Art, Rubber City Jazz Festival and many more venues. Sarah Hanahan Quintet was awarded 2019 Best Jazz Band by CT Now Readers Poll.
Sarah was also awarded the great opportunity to participate in many Jazz programs over the last few summers. These programs have provided Sarah with mentorship from some of the best in the jazz world and have been invaluable experiences. She participated in prestigious programs such as the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center 2019, Jazz Aspen Snowmass with Christian McBride 2019, Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency 2019, Woodshed Network with Dee Dee Bridgewater 2019, and Ravinia Steans Jazz Institute 2018. These programs included working with jazz greats such as Christian McBride, Jason Moran, Gregory Hutchinson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Rufus Reid, Billy Childs, Tim Hagans, Marcus Printup, Peter Martin, Shelly Berg, Casey Benjamin, and many other greats.
Sarah has been working a lot with her band but has also had the privilege to be a side person to many of her hero’s and mentors. Recently Sarah has been working with Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra playing second alto and touring nationwide. She has also been working with Jason Moran as part of a collaboration with the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Sarah lives in NYC and can be found playing at various clubs in the city.
Sarah’s main horn is the Yanagisawa A-991 alto sax. She also plays soprano sax and flute, and works on piano and drums in her spare time.