Born in Nebraska September 21, 1940, he was raised in Kansas. 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 21 he moved to San Francisco, where he joined the John Handy Quintet in 1964, recording two albums for Columbia Records including the critically acclaimed “Live at Monterey”.
In 1967 he recorded his first album The Jerry Hahn Quintet for Arhoolie Records with Jack DeJohnette on drums. In 1968, he joined the Gary Burton Quartet with Roy Haynes and Steve Swallow, recording three albums and toured the United States, Europe, Canada, and Japan. Then, in 1970, he formed the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood, performing, touring, and recording 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, and started work on his formidable book and CD Complete Jerry Hahn Method For Jazz Guitar for Mel Bay Publications.
In 1972, Hahn 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. Hahn received a Doctor of Music degree from Berean Christian College in Long Beach, CA in 1983. After fifteen years at WSU, he relocated to Portland, Oregon, where he joined the Bennie Wallace Quartet, recording and touring the United States, Europe, and Japan. The movie 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 (drummer with “Cream”). In 1995, Hahn 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 continues to perform, record, tour, and conduct clinics at Universities and schools.
Jerry Hahn, the innovative and dedicated musician, is one of the favorites of a younger generation of guitarists, including Bill Frisell, Larry Coryell, John Abercrombie, Pat Metheny, and Grant Geissman, all of whom have acknowledged Hahn’s influence.
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