From Nassau to the World Stage: Remembering Paul Hanna


Paul Hanna: A Bahamian Jazz Icon Bahamian jazz enthusiasts mourned the loss of a true legend in August 2023 with the passing of Paul Hanna. Born in Nassau, Bahamas, 77 years ago, Hanna was more than just a jazz singer, pianist, and songwriter. He was a musical force to be reckoned with, leaving an indelible mark on the world of jazz with his talent and contributions.

Hanna’s musical journey was a remarkable one. He produced two albums, showcasing his prowess not only as a performer but also as a composer. Notably, he composed music for the Bahamian film “This Time Next Year” in the 1990s, an achievement that demonstrated his versatility as an artist. His tours took him across the globe, from the Caribbean to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, and beyond. His immense contributions to the culture of the Bahamas did not go unnoticed; the government honored him for his dedication to the country’s cultural heritage.

Beyond the stage, Paul Hanna was a family man. He was a father of four sons and shared his life and love for music with his wife, the talented entertainer Tanya Hanna. The couple often performed as a jazz duo, creating beautiful harmonies and melodies. Notably, their youngest son, Troika Hanna, carries on the family tradition, performing and teaching music, ensuring that the legacy lives on.

Hanna’s musical journey was enriched by remarkable collaborations. He shared the stage with illustrious jazz musicians like Chick Corea, as well as R&B sensations like Jeffrey Osbourne and the acclaimed producer Gary Haase. These partnerships added depth to his musical repertoire, expanding his influence in the world of jazz.

Hanna’s influence extended well beyond the concert stage. He graced the most prestigious hotels and restaurants in the Bahamas, leaving audiences in awe with his performances at establishments like the Atlantis Hotel, Sandals Resort, and the five-star Graycliff restaurant. Moreover, Hanna was a man of the community. He generously gave his time to teach the youth to play the piano, sharing his passion for music and nurturing the next generation of artists. His commitment to the local community was evident as he hosted annual cleanup campaigns, demonstrating that his love for the Bahamas was not just in his music but also in his actions.

In the world of jazz, Paul Hanna’s name will forever resonate as a Bahamian icon who not only crafted mesmerizing melodies but also left an enduring impact on his community and culture. His music continues to inspire and his legacy endures through his family and the countless lives he touched with his passion for jazz and his commitment to giving back to his community.

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