John Hanifin Band
By Bailey Sherwin
Children hold the biggest dreams, many of them determined to see themselves succeed. As for musician John Hanifin, he fell in love with the cello at age seven and never looked back. Growing up in the Boston area, music took over Hanifin’s life. Coming from an artistic family background, it was no surprise that John would pick the musical path. “My family is all about the art; my father was a classical guitarist and interior designer, my mother is a painter, and both my grandmothers and sister are in the art field,” said Hanifin. Playing and composing music was not just an after-school activity anymore, it became his life. Studying at the Boston Conservatory, Hanifin graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music in 2010. Wanting to receive a higher education, Hanifin recieved his masters in music at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge in 2012.
Since then, Hanifin has performed countless times as a classical soloist. His latest project is the John Hanifin Band. The band consists of Brandon Allen on piano; Mauricio Andrade on guitar; Louis Ochoa on bass; Trevor Pitts on drums; and Jeremy Turgeon on trumpet; Hanifin is the writer and composer. “I compose and write the song and then send it out for everyone to look it over and then set up times to meet and play and record the song,” said Hanifin. All band members come from different musical back-grounds, creating an unusual yet enticing sound. The six musicians’ unique influences bring Hanifin’s compositions to life.
For Hanifin, as with all musicians, writing and composing songs is a process, one that requires endless hours of work. What’s some of the most difficult parts about recording? “Seperate recording times. Everyone has other things going on, so everyone records at different times, which can get tricky,” said Hanifin. The song is constructed a little bit at a time and when it is all said and done, Hanifin listens to the final product and finishes it up by adding final details like sound notes.
The difference between the John Hanifin Band and other bands is the band’s music is solely composed and written by Hanifin himself while his bandmates put their magic into it. “The process is my favorite part of writing our music. Seeing the journey it takes for one song to be written and turned into a piece of art, it’s why I love doing this,” he said.
Inspiration for his work comes quickly for Hanifin. According to the composer, inspiration comes from everything. “Sometimes the melody will come into my head first and then we move on from there,” he said. Hanifin continued to talk about how everyday brings something new and inspiring to his work and how if an artist becomes too focused on the mundane aspects of life, he or she may miss the opportunities of inspiration.
A popular Hanifin Band song is “Stop, Drop and Roll.” The song was published on YouTube in October of 2014, and since then song has gained over 27,000 hits. “Stop Drop and Roll” is a smooth jazz piece with Hanifin on acoustic guitar. Hanifin and his band bring millenials a taste of jazz without compromising that hipster-sound they know and love. The songs have a soulful feel to them especially when Hanifin plays his cello; it sets the band apart from others and brings a cool feel to Boston’s music scene.
Hanifin is fully committed to his band and music and getting the band’s name known. “It’s my dream,” said Hanifin. “Im one of those people who helps others who have helped me.” Hanifin fully believes in helping the people who have helped him and believed in him.
One of the goals the band has for 2015 is to create a presence in Boston. “Boston is such an incredible city, building a bigger presence here would be key,” said Hanifin. With their debut album coming out this May, the band is hoping for wider recognition but also hopes to give back to the community. In a partnership with the organization Celebrity Series of Boston, the band has helped bring music to the city’s children by working with Boston’s Boys and Girls Club and the Mattapan Teen Center. While the album will be a great accomplishment for the band, the service the band has given to the local community is commendable. Ten percent of all sales of the album will be donated to both organizations.
Hanifin is dedicated to his work and is very passionate about making it in Boston’s music scene while simultaneously helping spread his love of music to budding musicians. 2015 is going to be a big year for the John Hanifin Band, with their album debut in June to their show at the Montauk Music Festival in the Hamptons on May 16th. It will be a hectic but fun summer for Hanifin and his band.
For more on the John Hanifin Band, check out their social media and website:
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