Hannah Marks is a bassist, bandleader, composer, and educator living in New York City — and she joins us at SJW for the first time as a member of the Mentor Fellowship program. Welcome, Hannah!
As a bandleader, she has performed at several major festivals, including the Detroit Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, and Indy Jazz Festival. Her current band, Hannah Marks: Outsider, Outlier, is a genre-defying, lyric-based project. Marks plays in many bands including Tide Pools, with alto saxophonist Alfredo Colon and drummer Connor Parks, as well as for singer-songwriters Elora and Jack Broza.
She is a frequent sideman with SJW faculty artists Geoffrey Keezer, Ingrid Jensen, and Matt Wilson, as well as many other noted jazz artists such as Kalia Vandever, Ted Nash, Morgan Guerin, and Marcus Printup. Her former project, Heartland Trio, released their debut album in November 2018. Marks is a 2021 alumnus of the Woodshed Network, a 2019 alumnus of Betty Carter Jazz Ahead, a 2018 alumnus of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, and a 2014 alumnus of the Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony. She is on faculty at The Spence School and runs her own private lesson studio. Marks is currently an artist-in-residence at Old Greenwich Presbyterian Church in New Jersey and a curator for Green Lung Studio in Brooklyn.
Hannah is an alumnus of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where she studied with Walter Smith, Todd Coolman, Kurt Muroki, and Jeremy Allen. She was a member of IU’s top jazz group, the Plummer Jazz Quintet, led by Walter Smith. She is a former member of the IU Soul Revue and was the assistant principal bassist in the Spring 2018 production of West Side Story.
She hails from Des Moines, IA, where she got her start playing in monthly Des Moines Community Jazz Center jam sessions and attending Synergy Jazz Foundation Workshops. By the time she graduated high school, she played regularly with the Max Wellman Quartet, the Plymouth Church Saturday Night Band, and the Dave Bohl Quartet. She was selected for the Dave Brubeck Colony in 2014; she had other eye- opening experiences from attending the Centrum Jazz Workshop, the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Workshop, the University of Northern Iowa Jazz Camp, and the Simpson Jazz Camp in high school.
Hannah is passionate about sharing her love of music with a range of communities. She is involved in music education, non-profit work, and community outreach across the Midwest and East Coast, and currently works at Manhattan School of Music doing performance operations for the jazz department. As well as teaching on faculty at The Spence School, Hannah has also taught several masterclasses on music business and entrepreneurship for Indiana University’s Project Jumpstart program.
She created a music venue in Bloomington’s cozy mead bar, Oddball Fermentables, in 2017, and booked 27 shows and employed 160 musicians over the course of a year and a half. While in college, Marks interned for the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Girls Rock! Chicago, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Civic Music Association. She taught bass lessons and music theory at the Girls Rock! Des Moines camp and mentored at-risk elementary and middle school girls involved in Chrysalis Foundation’s after school programs in 2014.
Recent studio work includes Heartland Trio’s debut album Year One; Alone Together, a jazz vocal/bass duo EP with vocalist Kathryn Sherman, and Mostly Home, a full-length album with singer songwriter Grace Minnick.