Hannah is a bassist, composer, band leader and educator based in Sydney Australia.
As leader, she runs the Hannah James Trio (HJT), Quintet project ‘Hatch’ and the 10 piece powerhouse ensemble the Sydney Womens Jazz Collective.
She is a member of leading Australian Big Band the Jazz Groove Mothership Orchestra, Fusion project “Energetic Zen Quartet, the award winning “Lady Sings It Better”, feel good New Orleans band The Crawfish Po’Boys, Divergence Jazz Orchestra, the Truth Seekers, Portuguese ensemble the Alma Orkestra as well as working extensively as a freelance artist in jazz, contemporary, musical theatre.
Hannah was recently appointed as a casual lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music – Jazz Faculty where she is also undertaking postgrad performance research under supervisor Simon Barker. Hannah is a regular tutor for the SIMA young women in Jazz program, casual bass tutor for UNSW, runs workshops in jazz composition and improvisation for high school students and teaches at a number of schools in the Inner Sydney Area.
Playing credits include working alongside Katie Noonan, Alister Spence, Sandy Evans, Ingrid and Christine Jensen (US/UK), Silke Eberhardt (ger), Helen Sung (USA), Don Burrows, Kevin Hunt, Sandy Evans, Angie Hart, Dean Manning, Lady Sings it Better and Matt Keegan amongst others and tours in and around Australia, Asia and the UK.
Hannah grew up a small rural town outside of Canberra. She began her musical training in classical piano, taking up the double bass in high school. She received a scholarship to study Jazz performance at the ANU School of Music, completing her Honors there under the tutelage of bassist Eric Ajaye before moving to Sydney where she currently resides.
In 2011, Hannah was the recipient of the prestigious Jann Rutherford Memorial Award for women in jazz, has been invited to perform at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Sydney International Womens jazz Festival, Canberra Capitol Jazz Project, Jazzgroove Summer Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse, Bennett’s Lane, SIMA Sound Lounge, Kinetic Jazz festival and on ABC radio national and ABC Dig Jazz.