Hanna PK’s Story
Pianist, singer, and songwriter Hanna PK has been making a splash in and around Rochester NY! She’s never attended a music school, instead totally immersing herself in this music, to which she felt so strongly called, in the traditional way — by listening and later playing in clubs and jam sessions, and by collecting and hearing the recordings. From those records, she came to love and be inspired by so many of the great blues pianists like Otis Spann, Hersal Thomas, Little Brother Montgomery, Big Maceo, and Memphis Slim. Through all these experiences she learned (and is still learning) the language and the meaning of the blues. It was her luck that even though Rochester isn’t exactly in the Delta region, the area’s blues scene is still carried on with authenticity by nationally-recognized bluesmen like Joe Beard and John Cole. In fact, the first time she got a chance to play with Joe Beard was at a festival celebrating Son House, and by a few years later, she is subbing on Joe’s band, and has performed with him in a duo show.
On stage, Hanna’s seemingly sweet and soft-spoken appearance belies her commanding voice and presence at the piano and as a band leader. You will hear a soulful singer who can accompany herself on a piano, with an impeccably steady and strong left hand bass, and a swinging and shuffling right hand freely cascading over it. Given this all-in-one package, she can play in any kind of ensemble, or even solo, without anything missing!
In the summer of 2015, she formed Hanna and the Blue Hearts with guitarist Aleks Disjlenkovic and bassist Dan Lopata. Later, they added drummer Tony Hiler, making an impression one gig at a time. In the summer of 2016, they released their 1st CD “Rearview Mirror”. Currently the band is experimenting with a different sound for live performances and the next cd, adding Gian Carlo Cervone on organ.
But words, and even recorded samples, cannot fully convey the essence of Hanna's music — to really understand it and feel it, you have to hear her perform live. Her music continues to evolve and reflects the very moment she is living in — the happenings and vibe in the room, the reactions of her listeners, the musical contributions of each band member, and even the events of the week in the world, all combine to inspire a new and different performance of each song. As is the case with all true blues performers, she works from and in the tradition of the music while bringing her own stamp of creativity and originality to it. Her music tells a story, sometimes an age-old one, but she tells it in her way from her perspective, which in turn informs and expands our experience.