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 a jazz/fusion bassoonist:
Paul has recorded and/or performed with Billy Cobham’s Crosswinds Ensemble, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Wayne Shorter, 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 Weir’s 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 Soleil’s ZED-a resident show at Tokyo Disney Resort. This unique creation performed 380 shows a year from 2008-2011. To this day Cirque Du Soleil auditions bassoonists because of the ZED role Paul helped develop and create.
Paul has traveled throughout Europe, Japan, South America and the States. He has appeared as a bassoonist at Carnegie Hall, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Brno Jazz Festival in Czech Republic, the Montreux 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 numerous NAMM shows in Los Angeles and Nashville as a Legere Bassoon reed artist.