Welcome to Drumjazz!

audio CDs for Dance Class by

percussionist / dance musician John Hanks

Featuring compositions in a variety of styles and tempi. Ideal for use as musical accompaniment for Jazz, Modern, Tap... or ??!  The cuts are all drums and rhythm; no lyrics or tunes.  Selections are composed/improvised and maintain a consistent energy and meter throughout.

GO TO: Here Come the Drums, Drumjazz, Percussion Jams, Bio, John Hanks at Duke University, Links

(photo: John Hanks keeps the "pulse" for Anna Halprin's Planetary Dance, Duke Gardens, Durham, NC, during American Dance Festival, 2007.)

"....The "Here Come the Drums," "Drumjazz," and "Percussion Jams for Dance" offer great variety and energy for our classes. Keep Recording...PLEASE! Our students enjoy it - actually prefer it to the top "pop" music. I appreciate that there isn't a forced/imposed emotional component. Thank you!!"

"I like your work very much, have used it in many classes, and at many convention classes. I have turned my colleagues on to it, as well. Two are tappers - works so well for tap."

"I think your music is fantastic for dance classes. I even use them for Ballet for something different for the kids."

"I used the "Here Comes the Drum" CD for across the floor steps, as a sub in a some summer ballet classes. Students LOVED it. They said, "Is this CD made for ballet class?". I said, "Uh, no, not really. But it's for dancing... any kind and fun dancing." Love, the music... make more CD's."

Here Come the Drums - music for dance

16 cuts, 73+ minutes of music. Click on each title to download a short mp3 excerpt. These are low fidelity samples for faster downloading; the CD sound is excellent. They will, hopefully, give you an idea of tempo, meter, style, etc.

Prelude, Rhumba Gumbo, Ron's Reggae, Push , Latin Jazz Rock , Exotica, Tabla Funk, Electric Beat, Reggae, Man, Samba Fun, the Mystic, Indigo, Drumstick, Mix1, Mix2, Mix3

$15.00 each

Drumjazz - grooves for dance and movement

11 cuts, 73+ minutes of music. Mastered in HDCD (High Definition Compatible Digital) for a really great sound! Click on each title to download a short mp3 excerpt. These are low fidelity samples for faster downloading; the CD sound is excellent. They will, hopefully, give you an idea of tempo, meter, style, etc.

Jose, Jiga, Slobeat, Drumwaltz #1, Palms Down, Drumwaltz #2, Faze 1, Drumwaltz #3, Bongotabla, Drumwaltz #4, Synth Thing

$15.00 each

John Hanks and Ken Ray Wilemon - Percussion Jams for Dance

New CD by percussionists John Hanks and Ken Ray Wilemon. John and Ken have been faculty musicians at the American Dance Festival for many years. This is an improvisational CD with a real "live" sound, Perfect for technique class or creative movement. 53 minutes of music. Titles mostly reflect the general feel of the piece; please listen to the demos. Read artist bios

Medium 4/4, Medium Waltz, Tango, Slow 6, Fast Waltz, Latin Rock, Djun Djun, Slow Waltz, Fives, Unprepared Jig

$15.00 each

Each CD is priced in US dollars. Shopping cart will add $6 shipping and handling to US, $10 to Canada (1-3 CDs). Credit card payments (VISA/MC/AMEX/Discover) are processed by CCNow (click on their logo below for more information). Orders usually shipped immediately, but please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery for US/Canada. If you have other questions or concerns, please email me at: jhanks "at" duke.edu (replace "at" with "@") .
****Please note: CDs are not returnable unless damaged in transit. Due to the ease with which they can be copied, this is not an option. Please use the online sound bites to help in your decision to buy. If you have a questions, please contact me. ****

John Hanks, working and living in the Durham/Raleigh, North Carolina area, is a percussionist who has worked with dancers since 1979. He is Staff Associate musician, playing percussion instruments and piano for Modern, Jazz and Ballet, for the Duke University Dance Program; is a long time musician at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC as well as ADF/Seoul '91 & '92; and has been percussionist at the Jazz Dance World Congress (USA) from 1991-2002. His experience outside of dance includes teaching percussion lessons for the Duke University Music Department and a busy performance schedule with area Jazz and Classical music ensembles including the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the Gregg Gelb Swing Band, and the Willie Painter Band. John's music has many influences, especially the myriad of dancers and teachers who have inspired and encouraged him. Special thanks to many, including: Rebecca Hutchins, Jose Meier, Clay Taliaferro, Gus and Nan Giordano, Bernard Johnson, Alvin McDuffy, M'Liss Dorrance, Frank Holder, and Audrey Tischler.

Ken Ray Wilemon: Percussionist, composer; painter: has accompanied dance at Texas Christian University, University of Texas at Austin, Connecticut College, Hollins University and White Mountain Summer Dance Festival (ongoing); appeared with Stage West, Hip Pocket and Jubilee Theaters in Ft. Worth; created the soundscape for the Duke Theatre production of Helen in 1999; performed with songwriter/singers Anne Hills, Karen Tyler, and Illene Weiss while living in Austin; appeared on Korean National Public TV as part of the ADF Korea '91-92; extensive touring and recording with Nashville guitarist/producer/author Robin Crow on the Creator and Electric Cinema CDs; periodically records with songwriter Val Davis in Philly; has also worked locally with the North Carolina-based improvisational collective "them" and with the Even Exchange Dance Company ; currently staff accompanist at Meredith College, Duke University, and the St. Mary's School; ADF faculty since '88


These are links to my current and recent Dance musician gigs:

Duke Dance Program

American Dance Festival

Jazz Dance World Congress

Other dance related websites

Ballet Resources Collection of quality links to related resources on the Internet

CyberDance This is a collection of over 3,500 links to classical ballet and modern dance resources on the Internet.

In addition to being webmaster for this site, I also administer these other sites:

North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra

Gregg Gelb Swing Band

the Willie Painter Band

John Hanks Percussion Homepage

John Hanks is a percussionist who has worked with dancers since 1979. He is full-time staff musician for the Duke University Dance Program, where he plays percussion instruments and piano for modern, jazz, and ballet classes. He has also been the percussionist for Gus Giordano's Jazz Dance World Congress (US) since 1992 where he's played for Master Teachers: Gus Giordano, Matt Maddox, Frank Hatchett, Joe Tremaine and others. A long time musician for the American Dance Festival, he accompanied them to Seoul, Korea in 1991-92, and over the years has accompanied classes taught by many great teachers including Alvin McDuffy, Donald McKayle, Betty Jones, Clay Taliaferro, Ron Brown, and many others. He composes electronic and percussion scores for dance, including works for Clay Taliaferro, Mark Dendy, Jose Meier, Cornelius Carter, Tyler Walters and Two Near the Edge.

His first dance job was with the Frank Holder Dance Company in 1979, with whom he toured as company percussionist over much of the US, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico where the company worked primarily in the now defunct "Artists in Schools" program. He then moved to New York City in late 1981 where he worked as a dance accompanist with the 92nd St. YMHA Dance Program, lifeguard at the University Club on 56th St and 5th Ave, and freelance drummer with Theater for the New City, and many other groups and combos. He returned to North Carolina in 1984 and has been playing for dance classes at Duke University since 1987.

In addition to his dance related work, he teaches classical and jazz percussion lessons for the Duke Music Department. He started the Philidor Percussion Group in 1991, which performed as soloists with many orchestras including the North Carolina Symphony, the Canton Symphony Orchestra and the Augusta Symphony. Currently, he is the drummer for the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, an eighteen piece big band, and the Gregg Gelb Swing Band. As a jazz drummer, he has performed with notables: Mose Allison, John Bunch, Scott Hamilton, Tom Harrell, the Glenn Miller Band, Stephanie Nakasian, Ed Polcer, Warren Vache, Margaret Whiting, Mary Lou Williams (who described him as the best white drummer she had played with !?), and others. From 1989-2000, he was drummer for the Clambake Orchestra at the Bing Crosby Celebrity Golf Tounament backing many artists including: Bob Hope, Joe Williams, Smokey Robinson, Glen Campbell and others. He continually freelances as a drummer and percussionist in North Carolina, playing frequently for productions by the North Carolina Theater, concerts by Mallarme Chamber Players and Duke University, and church and community orchestras.

Raised in Durham, NC, he attended the Governor's School of NC in 1972, and later attended Duke University and the University of Miami (FL). He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Massie Johnson.

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last edited 9/7/2010