John Hanks is a versatile North Carolina based percussionist who wears a number of musical hats. A 1980 graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts, he is currently full-time staff musician for the Duke Dance Program, where he plays percussion and piano for Modern, Jazz, and Ballet dance classes. He has been a musician for the American Dance Festival since 1984 and accompanied them to Seoul, Korea in 1991-92. Since 1992, he has been the percussionist/accompanist for Gus Giodano’s Jazz Dance World Congress. He’s composed electronic and percussion scores for many dance choreographers including: Clay Taliaferro, Carol Childs/Two Near the Edge, Rebecca Hutchins, Mark Dendy, Tyler Walters, M’Liss Dorrance and Jose Meier; and has released 2 CDs of percussion music for dance.
He has taught percussion in the Duke Music Department since 1987. Currently he is the drummer for the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra and the Gregg Gelb Swing Band since their inception in 1991. As a jazz drummer he has had the opportunity to perform with many notable artists, including: Mose Allison, the Glen Miller Band, Stephanie Nakasian, Margaret Whiting, Butch Thompson, Scott Hamilton, Tom Harrell, Mary Lou Williams and has been a featured guest artist several times at the New Bern Jazz Festival. During the summer of 2002, he performed with the North Carolina School of the Arts Faculty/Alumni Jazz Ensemble for 2 weeks in Manteo, NC as part of their Festival Park Series. For many years, he was the drummer for Clambake Orchestra backing celebrities such as Bob Hope, Joe Williams, Smokey Robinson, and others at the annual Bing Crosby Celebrity Golf Tournament held in Winston-Salem, NC. Mr. Hanks was a founding member of the Philidor Percussion Group and also performs with the Mallarme Chamber Players, The North Carolina Theater, and is timpanist for numerous Duke Chapel Sunday services including their annual production of Handel’s Messiah. He has also recorded CDs with the Gregg Gelb Swing Band, NCJRO, Jazz vibist Jon Metzger, and NC School of the Arts faculty member Ron Rudkin, among others.