Percussionist John Hanks of Durham, North Carolina, is Music Director for the Duke University Dance Program, where he accompanies dance classes, teaches music, and is the Dance Program's webmaster, among other duties. From 1987-2012 he was the percussion instructor for the Duke University Music Department.
A faculty musician for the American Dance Festival since 1984, he accompanied them to Seoul, Korea in 1991-92 and Henan, China, in 2012 and 2014. From 1992-2003, he was percussionist for the Jazz Dance World Congress, where he worked with Jazz Dance Masters Gus Giordano, Matt Maddox, Frank Hatchett, and others. John performs annually with the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble in their Spring concert, and also plays for their annual NC Rhythm Tap Festival that features notable tappers Michelle Dorrance, Derick Grant, Elizabeth Burke, and others. He has been a musician for numerous dance conventions, including: Southeastern Regional Ballet Association, American College Dance Association, and North Carolina Dance Alliance.
As a jazz drummer he has performed with many notable artists, including: Randy Johnston, Hod O'Brian, Mose Allison, the Glen Miller Band, Stephanie Nakasian, Butch Thompson, Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Mary Lou Williams, and many others. Currently, he performs locally with the Willie Painter Band (rock & blues), George Knott and the Atomic Rhythm Allstars (classic jazz), Peter Lamb, Mark Wells, Steve Hobbs, Gregg Gelb, Ethan Uslan, and others. He played drums for the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, directed by James Ketch, from 1991-2008.
In 1990, John Hanks, along with Christopher Deane and Wiley Sykes, founded the Philidor Percussion Group. John has also performed with the Mallarme Chamber Players, Duke Chapel Choir and Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, the North Carolina Symphony, and the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. He plays drums/percussion locally for many touring and local musical theater shows, including Theater Raleigh, North Carolina Theater, and Durham Performing Arts Center.
He composes electro/acoustic percussion scores for dance and has released three CDs of his dance class work: Here Come the Drums (1999), Drumjazz (2001), and Percussion Jams for Dance (2004). He has also recorded CDs with Randy Johnston, the Gregg Gelb Swing Band, NCJRO, Jon Metzger, Kirk Ridge/Black Dog Syndrome, and UNCSA faculty Ron Rudkin, among others.
Below: Centenary College of Louisiana, "Divining", A senior seminar project reconstructing Judith Jamison's original choreography. Music: DrumWaltz #1, by John Hanks. Published on YouTube, Aug 3, 2009.