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Roger Hand

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Roger simply aspires to be recognized as a composer in the truest sense of the term. Ever since his early years, he held deep admiration for the music of Beethoven, George Gershwin, and Aaron Copeland, and he commenced notating his compositions at the age of nine. Hailing from West Philadelphia, he initiated his piano lessons in the local neighborhood at six years old, prompted by his mother's discovery that he could recreate his older brother's piano lessons right after his sibling practiced.

In his teenage years, he pursued his music education at the renowned Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, where he was introduced to composition structure and rules. During this period, the musical influences emanating from the radio and records of the era were impossible to overlook. While jazz had always played a pivotal role in his development, funk, soul, pop, rock, and even folk left an indelible mark on this budding wedding musician. Early inspirations ranged from jazz piano luminaries like Oscar Peterson, Ramsey Lewis, and Bobby Timmons to later influences such as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Art Tatum. The musical palette expanded to include The Beatles, Bob Dylan, James Brown, artists from Motown, Atlantic, and Stax, Sly and the Family Stone, as well as film composers like Quincy Jones. Presently, his influences have extended to encompass Hip-Hop beats. He has composed music for productions at the "Freedom Theatre" in Philadelphia and embarked on a brief tour with their shows.

Subsequently, Roger pursued a Bachelor's degree in music with a composition major at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. During this time, he led a jazz/funk thirty-piece big band that performed his original compositions under his name. The ensemble participated in concerts and theatrical productions across the Boston area. Several members of the big band soared to greater heights in the music industry, with some becoming independent artists and others venturing into education or playing alongside jazz legends such as Art Blakely and the Jazz Messengers, Dizzy Gillespie, and Tito Puente.

After his Berklee experience, Roger ventured into teaching music in public schools and engaged in session and copyist work for artists affiliated with Warner Brothers and Philadelphia International Records. He also embarked on tours and performances alongside singer Billy Paul. Around this period, esteemed jazz drummer and vocalist Grady Tate recognized Roger's talent and assumed a mentorship role, frequently joining his recording sessions in New York City. Subsequently, Roger signed with Alpha International Records as a songwriter and producer, collaborating with prominent writers and producers in the region, including Nick Martinelli.

Artist Information

Newark DE 19711