Guitarist, Composer, and Educator, Jake Hanlon is a frequent fixture in the Atlantic Canadian jazz scene as one of its leading voices. Hanlon has released 4 albums as a leader/co-leader earning multiple ECMA and Music Nova Scotia nominations. Hanlon is an Associate Professor of Music at Saint Francis Xavier University, the Nation’s oldest degree-granting Jazz Studies program where he teaches Jazz Composition, Jazz Guitar, Popular Music History, and small Ensemble direction.

An alumnus of the University of North Texas (’08) and Saint Francis Xavier (’03), Hanlon has studied jazz composition and guitar with Fred Hamilton, Tom Daniels, Alan Sutherland, John Abercrombie, and Vic Juris. Hanlon is also an alumnus of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency (’07).

Hanlon has shared the stage with artists such as David Liebman, Peter Erskine, Matt Wilson, Tim Hagans, Andy LaVerne, Chad Wackerman, Mike Murley, Eric Harland, Kirk MacDonald, Ethan Ardelli, Diane Nalini, David Braid, John Stowell, Kelly Jefferson, and Vic Juris. Hanlon has performed frequently across Eastern Canada and has toured internationally in Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, Nepal, and the United States.

Teaching Testimonials

"His Students are in the best of hands."

John Stowell, International Jazz Artist

"I had the pleasure of having Jake Hanlon as an arranging teacher and group instructor at St. FX between 2008 and 2011. Jake was not only extremely knowledgeable but also a truly fantastic educator. Jake takes the time to ensure each student is truly understanding the curriculum while encouraging all to embrace challenges and become stronger musicians. I feel very fortunate for his guidance in my life now that I am a member of the Canadian jazz community." 

Zoe Leger - Pianist, Singer, Composer/Songwriter based in Halifax NS

"When I was a budding jazz guitarist, Jake opened my eyes to the work of many great jazz guitarists and their styles. Through his immersive, practical approach to guitar instruction, I was not only provided with the requisite tools of a functional jazz guitarist, but I was able to grasp and work towards a more sophisticated approach to improvisation and musicality."

Matt MacDougall - Guitarist/Composer/Educator based in Nashville TN

"Jake Hanlon is among the top-tier of educators in music. He is well-versed in the history of Jazz and plays guitar like a true professional. While I was under Jake's instruction, he taught me to arrange with such clarity and honesty. The thing that stands out for me is how willing he is to give younger, less experienced students a chance. When I was beginning my career in music, Jake invited me to come to play a few engagements around Antigonish with him and some other professors from the St.Francis Xavier Jazz program. You can't beat real-life experience and Jake is well aware of that."

Dave Farrell - Bassist based in DFW Texas, USA

"Hanlon will always find time to play and share his musical knowledge. Thus, sparking interest in musicians young and old. His dedication to this music is both contagious and inspiring."

James Shaw - Saxophone/Composer in Halifax NS

“Jake Hanlon is an exceptional musician and knowledgeable teacher. Jake mentored and taught me while I was completing my undergrad at St. FX University and played a significant role in helping me advance my skills as a guitarist and overall musician. He went above and beyond his duty as a teacher and gave me opportunities I would not have had otherwise. If you were looking to improve your skills as a guitarist, I would highly recommend studying with him.”

Sam Wilson - Guitarist/Composer in Nova Scotia

"He has taken a lot of input from students and incorporated this into the material he selects for class discussions. Much of my memories from St. Francis Xavier come from the time spent in Jake's classes and bands. He maintains a professional, entertaining work environment which is necessary for any musician to flourish. I owe much of what I've gained from university to Jake."

Matt MacLennan - Bassist/Composer based in Halifax NS

"When I began studying with Jake I had the work ethic but lacked direction in my jazz guitar practice. Jake was able to immediately hone in on what I needed to get to the next level in my jazz playing. To this day I continue to implement his lessons within my own performing and teaching career."

Ben Holt - Guitarist/Composer based in Taipei