Simon Spang-Hanssen

Simon Spang-Hanssen

Instrument: Saxophone | Location: Copenhagen

Finally, the freshness of the soprano-sound of Simon Spang-Hanssen, seems, to me, to be one of the most convincing today.
—Jean-Pierre Moussaron, Jazz Magazine, France

Updated: July 6, 2022

Born: April 13, 1955

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark on April 13th

Starts playing alto-saxophone, later also tenor and soprano

1976 Member of ”Strange Brothers” with Peter Danstrup , Ole Rømer and John Tchicai.

Receives the annual Ben Webster Price and creates his own quartet “Spacetrain” with Ben Besiakov, Jesper Lundgaard and Alex Riel.

Plays in many different groups with among others: Jan Kaspersen, Pierre Doerge, Marilyn Mazur, Atilla Engin, Okay Temiz, Mozar Terra, Chuim, Jesper Zeuthen,the Voodoo Gang….

Joins the sextet of Brazilian drummer and composer Nenê, tours in Denmark and France (double-concertsl with Hermeto Pascoal e Grupo).

Moves to Paris and plays with a.o.: Denis Badault ( National Jazz Orch.,quartet,duo,) Andy Emler, Nguyên Lê, Quintet Moutin, Ramuntcho Matta, Edouard Ferlet and with his own projects including musicians such as: Richard Bona, Billy Hart,Niels Lan Doky, J.F. Jenny-Clarke, Bojan Z., Alain Jean-Marie, Simon Goubert,Xavier Desandre, Mariane Bitran…

Release of ”Mardi Gras, Chez Toi” and creation of ”Maaneklar” (a quintet with sax,flute, bass and two percussionists). Release of”Ekwata”, duo with D. Badault.


Moves back to Copenhagen and creates the tentet ”Central Earth” with among others: Poul Reimann,Fredrik Lundin, Bjarne Roupé, Marc Davis, Anders Mogensen…records ”Wondering” with Maaneklar for Dacapo.

Concerts and recording with a new quartet with Thomas Clausen, Jesper Lundgaard and Billy Hart.( ”Identified” Dacapo ). First performances with ”Ear Witness” with Emil Spányi, ,Linley Marthe and Felix Sabal-Lecco.

Creation of ”Flower Machine” with Thomas Agergaard, Klavs Hovman and Marilyn Mazur.

Concerts in quintet with a.o. Anders Bergcrantz and Kasper Villaume.

“French Quartet” with Franck Tortiller, Yves Torchinsky and Francois Laizeau ( ”Noctiflore” Altrisuoni ). Release of ”Dancing on Monday” with Flower Machine. Member of the ”United Notions” saxophone-quartet.

Release of ”Ear Witness” and ”Live in Copenhagen Jazzhouse” w. Central Earth (Music Mecca ).

New 5-tet with Bob Rockwell, Peter Dahlgren, Jeppe Skovbakke/ Yasser Pino and Karsten Bagge . ”Rainbow Spirit” with Dawda Jobarteh, Thomas Fonnesbech and Ayi Solomon.

Member of Edouard Ferlet’s ”l’Echarpe d’Iris” with Alain Grange and Xavier Desandre. New octet-version of ”Maaneklar” with a.o. Kristian Jørgensen, Bent Clausen, Benita Haastrup, Mariane Bitran…Member of Emil Hess “Evolution Nonet”. Quartet with Mario Canonge, Michel Zenino and Tony Rabeson. Member of Niels Praestholms “EMBLA”.

Start of the record label Alisio ( Spangster Records), release of Rainbow Spirit and ”Coexistence” with the 5-tet. Member of Alain Apaloo’s “API PIPO”.

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"One has a clear sense of continuous intensety and inner glow when the saxophone- player Simon Spang-Hanssen is onstage. " Kjeld Frandsen , Berlinske Tidende (DK)

"Simon Spang-Hanssen, tenor & soprano saxophone, whose imagination seems unexhaustible..." Michel Contat , Telerama ( FR )

"He makes you think of Johnny Griffin because of the vélocity and the impatience, Dexter Gordon because of a sort of half-feinted nonchalance , immediately contradicted by his George Adams side ( a certain way of transgressing the references by lyricism and excess )" Franck Bergerot , Jazz Hot ( FR )

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Primary Instrument




Clinic/Workshop Information

Ensemble-playing. Based on a series of originals the students( all levels ) works with interpretation, form , section-work, creativity, spontaneous arrangements, reading, understanding of structure, sound, improvisation... Ideally the clinic runs for a couple of days and end with a concert.

"Rhythmic Music Conservatory", Copenhagen ,the Fyen Conservatory, music-schools in Sønderborg, Brandbjerg(Denmark )... Clinics in Grenoble,Rouen, Montpellier (France ), Mexico D.C.

Weather Report
Gil Evans
Lionel Loueke
guitar, acoustic
Steve Clarke
bass, electric
Michael Manring
bass, electric

Artists who share similar musical characteristics to Simon Spang-Hanssen.

Sonny Rollins
Moacir Santos
Wayne Shorter
John Coltrane
Gil Evans
Joe Henderson
Charlie Parker
saxophone, alto


Speaking To The Wind

From: Speaking To The Wind
By Simon Spang-Hanssen

Painting Riddles On The Wall

From: Back To Earth
By Simon Spang-Hanssen


From: Luna Moon
By Simon Spang-Hanssen

Simon Spang-Hanssen Albums