A superior drummer equally at ease driving a big band or playing in small mainstream combos, Jake Hanna was a strong asset to a countless number of sessions. He started out playing locally in Boston and worked with Toshiko Akiyoshi (1957), Maynard Ferguson (1958), as the house drummer at Storyville in Boston, with Marian McPartland (1959-1961), and most significantly with the Woody Herman Orchestra (1962-1964). As a studio musician, he was a regular member of the Merv Griffin television program's big band (1964-1975), moving with the show to Los Angeles (1970) where he remained. Hanna co-led a group with Carl Fontana that recorded for Concord in 1975, played with Supersax, and went on to appear on many mainstream and swing sessions, becoming a fixture at jazz parties and festivals. He recorded many dates (mostly as a sideman) for Concord. Jake Hanna died in Los Angeles on February 12, 2010; he was 78 years old.