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Jerry Hahn Bio

Jerry is one of the most celebrated jazz guitarists of his generation, and a major name in the 1960s and 1970s for his de facto contribution to the emerging fusion movement.

He began playing the guitar at age 7. At age 11 he began playing professionally with the Bobby Wiley Rhythmaires, appearing daily on Wichita's first television station, KEDD.

At the age of 21 Jerry moved to San Francisco. In 1964 he joined the John Handy Quintet, recording two albums for Columbia Records including the critically acclaimed "Live at Monterey." In 1967 he recorded his first album for Arhoolie Records, "The Jerry Hahn Quintet," with Jack DeJohnette on drums. In 1968, he joined the Gary Burton Quartet with Roy Haynes and Steve Swallow, recording three albums and touring the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan.

In 1970 the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood, featuring Mike Finnigan, was formed. The group performed, toured and recorded for Columbia Records. In his book The Jazz Book, German-born jazz authority Joachim Berendt noted the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood as being one of the "trailblazers of rock-jazz integration."

Jerry also began to write a monthly column for Guitar Player magazine entitled "Jerry Hahn's Guitar Seminar" which continued for five years. In 1971 Paul Simon called Jerry to record on his first solo album, "Paul Simon."

In 1972, Jerry went back to Wichita, Kansas, where he became a full-time member of the Wichita State University faculty and established the degree program in jazz guitar. He received a Doctor of Music degree from Berean Christian College in Long Beach, CA in 1983.

His formidable book and CD Complete Jerry Hahn Method for Jazz Guitar for Mel Bay Publications has been in publication since 1986.

After 15 years at WSU, Jerry relocated to Portland, Oregon, where he joined the Bennie Wallace Quartet, recording and touring the United States, Europe and Japan. The move sound track for White Men Can't Jump features Jerry's guitar playing.

In 1992 he moved to Denver, Colorado, where he taught at the Colorado Institute of Art and performed, toured and recorded with Ginger Baker, the drummer with the band "Cream."

In 1995, Jerry joined the faculty of Portland State University and developed the curriculum for the Jazz Guitar program. In addition to teaching all of the jazz guitar students, coaching guitar ensembles and jazz combos at PSU, Jerry continued to perform, record, tour and conduct clinics at universities and schools.

Recent engagements include the Iridium Jazz Club and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York City with the original John Handy Quintet. His latest recordings include "Hahn Solo" and "Jazz Hymns" on Migration Records, and self-published "Hahn Songs" in 2010. Jerry has returned to Kansas to be with family and work on new publications and recordings.

Jerry Hahn, the innovative and dedicated musician, continues to be one of the favorites of a younger generation of guitarists.

Quotes About Jerry

Highlights and Jazz Festivals



D'Angelico Guitars
Thomastik-Infield Strings
Acoustic Image Amps


Jerry Hahn
(316) 648-8271

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