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Sir Roland Hanna presents logoSir Roland Hanna presents
Portrait of Sir Roland Hanna

"Next to the privilege of presenting one's own talents and works to an appreciative public sits the gratification in the opportunity to present the talents and works of others. If viewed as a way of giving back, it is an opportunity I embrace with humility. Such is the motivation behind Rmi."

—Sir Roland Hanna

Tomoya Aomori: Awesome

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Tomoya has beautifully, brilliantly and diligently demonstrated that it's always All AboutThe Music.

—Sir Roland Hanna

Perhaps we will be fortunate enough to present "The Aomoris" as our next CD.

—Ramona Hanna

Awesome = “inspiring awe” —Webster’s 20th Century Dictionary

What better way to describe the performance, talent, versatility, perspective, dedication, and accomplishments of 19-year-old Tomoya Aomori?

Because of this, his current biography reads like that of someone not only twice his age. but also perhaps with even two pairs of hands. Born in Tokyo and moving with his family to the US at age 2, Tomoya grew up in a very musical environment. His father, Yoshio, is an accomplished bassist, his mother, Naomi, an equally accomplished pianist, and his older brother, Hideaki, an amazing talent on reeds. He began piano studies with his mother at age 5, but at age 6 became interested in drums and was given a snare. At age 8 his father started him on the double bass. “At that time I never thought of adding another instrument to my repertoire. I just wanted to play and have fun.” And while it is not unusual for youngsters to experiment and move from one instrument to the next, ultimately leaving the field altogether, such was not the case with Tomoya. He found his means of musical expression in both double bass and percussion. He subsequently became, if not the first, then one of the very few students permitted a double major at the Julliard School of Music.

“Playing different instruments is very natural for me. It is sometimes difficult to manage my practice schedule but playing different instruments allows me to take part in different genres of music. Recently I began to realize how closely the instruments relate to one another. Even though the instruments require different techniques, ultimately they all connect to one thing—music!"

—Tomoya Aomori

Yoshio Aomori with Chris Roselli: I Love BeBop
I Love BeBop CD cover

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My own extensive musical journey has granted me the good fortune to share the stage with the greatest bassists of a generation. That's why I have developed a special attachment to the sound of the bass—especially when the bassist uses all the available sounds one might obtain when using the bow.

I first heard Yoshio Aomori performing as principal bassist with the Queens College Symphony Orchestra. Shortly afterwards, we began work in small ensemble classes. In this setting I found him to be extremely dedicated, possessed of his very own musical identity with an outstanding bow technique, an unusual harmonic sensitivity, and a very individual way of putting his solos together. I also saw the kind of leadership qualities that, it seems to me, all great bass players have. In 1997 Yoshio's performance of the Koussevirsky Bass Concerto with the QCSO was exceptional. A tour of Japan with Yoshio in a trio was musically gratifying. His performance, versatility and professionalism were a pleasure. In this presentation I hope you find them the same.

—Sir Roland Hanna

Michael Hanna: Family and Friends
Michael Hanna CD cover

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"…a rich caramel-colored tenor whose particular genius is his ability to bring out the meaning of lyric through a thoughtful approach…"

—Nina J. Hodgson
Read full review on
Jazz Now Interactive.

If indeed the often stated correlation between music and mathematics exists, then Michael Hanna is yet another personification of that relationship. With a degree in Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and approximately 15 years tenure as a design engineer, his microphone has never been more than a few feet away from his computer, and he has utilized it about as often in concerts, clubs, and churches, in solo performances, and as a member of the vocal group, Sound Virtue.

Michael is a vocal talent whose approach to a lyric attracts attention even as it soothes, relaxes and embraces you. You feel included on his warm, sensual, musical journeys that revisit the past, dignify the present and challenge the future. He displays emotional depth in his ballads and an easy swinging style that is a reminiscence that connects and satisfies. All in all, his is a talent that is as pleasing as a new found friend and one with whom you will want to spend more quality time. It is therefore fitting that this, his debut album, is a gathering of family and friends.

—Sir Roland Hanna

Nothing in life is more important nor deserves more acknowledgment than the blessings of faith, family, and friends. They are what start us off, sustain us, and keep us going.

—Michael Hanna

Hideaki Aomori: Young Man With a Horn
Hideaki Aomori CD cover

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Sometimes it's cool to hang out with Dad, and sometimes it's not. But it was clearly cool the day in 1998 that 16-year-old Hideaki Aomori decided to join his father, Yoshio, at an ensemble rehearsal at Queens College with Professor Roland Hanna. Cool because the opportunity presented itself for Hideaki to play with the ensemble. That performance resulted in this recording.

In addition to performances with the All-County, All-State, and Nassau-Suffolk Jazz Ensembles, Hideaki was chosen to be a member of the 1999 Grammy High School Jazz Ensemble, performing at the Grammy Awards in that year. He is also an active classical clarinet player. Following performances with various orchestras at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, he had his first solo appearance May 15, 2000, performing the Weber Clarinet Concerto with the Children's Orchestra Society. In September 2000 Hideaki entered the Juilliard School of Music with a performance scholarship. In the summer of 2000 he joined his father, Sir Roland Hanna, and Chris Roselli on tour in Japan.

“It was an honor and a pleasure to work with Sir Roland Hanna He is an amazing musician and a great person. Working with him was a unique opportunity that pushed me to a higher level of musicality. It was always exciting. His deep understanding of both jazz and classical music sparked the creativity and energy of the entire group. Working on this album was a rewarding experience.”

— Hideaki Aomori

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