Hanna and the Blue Hearts

Hanna and the Blue Hearts at Abilene

For some time now, it seems that the blues is something that most of the modern bands list as one of their influences. It must mean that the blues is THAT significant in American, perhaps the world’s, popular music since the 20’s into this century, but if you really dig the blues, it’s getting somewhat difficult to navigate through to really hear the blues in its true form. But, here’s a band that puts the blues in the forefront, and is not afraid to let the music speak for itself.

Hanna PK is the vocalist, pianist, and leader of the band. Born in a small town in South Korea, Hanna was never satisfied with the music that was around her for some reason. K-pop and dance music really wasn’t her thing. When she finally found what she was searching for, that was the blues — all things blues.

Hanna and the Blue Hearts channel a wide variety of the blues, from pre-war styles to 50’s & 60’s Chicago blues, to boogie woogie. As all the band members are also influenced by jazz, they naturally bring a good dosage of swing to their sound as well. Often people use the expression ‘tickling the ivories’, but if you see the way Hanna plays, it’s anything but tickling. Her solid left hand reflects on those traditional blues masters’ rocking’ and shuffling bass patterns, while her right hand grooves along, dancing all over those 88’s and she adds her sultry voice to the band. The band currently has three other members though at times some of them join Hanna as a duo or trio.

Guitarist Aleks Disljenkovic brings tremendous knowledge and experience to the band. He’s still an acting leader of the White Hots, and had worked with Rochester Music Hall of Famer Joe Beard for many years. In the mid-1980s, Aleks was touring the U.S., Canada, and Mexico with a number of blues headliners as well. He’s a very focused player and his soulful guitar solos never fail to make a statement.

Hanna and Tony at Abilene

Another veteran musician from Buffalo NY, currently residing in Rochester, Tony Hiler takes his seat at the drums. His dynamic and versatile musical style enables Hanna and Tony to perform even as a duo with plenty of excitement and groove. Tony is a multi-talented musician, can play the keyboard, a music director at his church, and an aspiring teacher as well.

And the newest member of the band is Gian Carlo Cervone, who has been in Rochester’s blues and jazz scene for many years, but this time, brings his swinging organ to the band.

Hanna released the EP ‘Rearview Mirror’ in the summer of 2016, documenting the start of her musical journey. The band is hoping to start working on a full-length blues album soon.

It’s life’s most wonderful thing to follow one’s bliss, and when you hear this band do just that, and their passion for it is infectious.