For jazz saxophonist, composer and rising star of UK Jazz, Hannah Horton’s journey and love with her sax and music started at the age of 10. For her, an only child, living in the countryside with music mainly for company, her saxophone became her lifelong best friend.
A natural born improviser and now accomplished on flute, bassoon and clarinet as well as saxophone, Hannah attended the prestigious Junior Guildhall School of Music and later at Trinity College of Music, where she was inspired by prominent British jazzers including Mark Lockheart, Tim Garland and Paul Bartholomew and contemporary saxophonist Gerard McChrystal. During her teens she was an integral member of the National Youth Music Theatre and later on with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Today Hannah provides inspiration of her own by running ‘J Steps’ – "a new band initiative designed to nurture the talent of musicians who identify as female or non-binary (its main aim being to balance a historic lack of representation of women in jazz)".
In september 2021 Hannah released her highly acclaimed second album Inside Out to a full house at the intimate 606 Jazz Club, London. Her carefully curated selection of her own compositions alongside several iconic songs that she holds close to her heart result in an intriguing and diverse listen and strikes the perfect balance between exciting new music and timeless classics.
The spectrum of emotions explored on Inside Out range from trauma to elation and are based on concepts and experiences that are felt and understood by society as a whole. Hannah explains the sentiment of the album perfectly by saying that “It’s about human emotion, trauma, exultation and more, and my response to these. It is a reflection that throughout life we grow, we as humans build resilience and how time teaches us confidence, inner strength and acceptance.”
Hannah’s music is rooted in not only jazz, but also folk and funk. She has showcased her skills alongside a plethora of great artists such as Amy Winehouse, Ian Shaw (who is also guest vocalist on her latest album Inside Out), John Etheridge, Georgia Mancio and has performed at all of the UK’s most prominent jazz venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, The Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican, 606 Jazz Club and selling out at two 2021 London Jazz Festival shows. Hannah’s signature velvet tones and songwriting ability shine through in her playing, alongside her authentic and engaging stories to her music, making her shows both compelling and entertaining in equal measure.
Photo credits: Nicholas Sleep - Tatiana Gorilovsky