Kip Hanrahan


A producer, a composer, a percussionist and facilitator, Kip Hanrahan has an uncanny ability to assemble remarkable musicians and apply their talents in interesting ways. The results are often magical.

Kip Hanrahan started out as a percussionist, a fairly left-field occupation for an Irish-Jewish boy, even if he did grow up in a Puerto Rican neighborhood of the Bronx, New York.

After gaining a fellowship in sculpture at the Cooper Union Arts in New York, Kip began collect several musical hats: those of producer, director, writer/arranger and conductor. However, his most apt role would be one of facilitator, for Kip has the knack of being able to connect artists to his musical ideas. Drawing on a myriad of influences and genres, from rock, funk, jazz and blues, as well as the Latin sounds of his formative years, Kip conjures a distinctive meld of music.

Passion for the music and an uncontrollable verbal volubility gives Kip’s personality an irascible edge.


Crescent Moon Waning

Label: american clavé/enja yellowbird
Distribution in France: L'autre Distribution
Release date: June 22, 2018

A renowned composer, bandleader, visionary producer, and creative instigator, Kip Hanrahan has long been known for intensely passionate music that is both tender and hard-driving, with a deep poetic edge. ‘Crescent Moon Waning’ is the first Kip Hanrahan album since his 2011 release ‘At Home in Anger’. Fans of forward-thinking, outernational music will no doubt be thrilled to hear that Hanrahan is back!
The cast of musicians includes such luminaries as vocalist/bassist Jack Bruce, tenor saxophonists Chico Freeman, JD Allen and Craig Handy, bassists Steve Swallow and Andy González, plus many others.

Kip Hanrahan - Crescent Moon Waning

At home in Anger

Label: American Clavé/YellowBird
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: October 01, 2011

For more than thirty years now Kip Hanrahan, musician, producer, and creator of the label American Clavé, has been exploring old connections and new ways of developing Latin Jazz. The results are legendary: unusual, multi-layered music, played by outstanding musicians. No doubt, the man knows about traditions, but he questions them and transforms them with determination.
Hanrahan, the son of Irish and Russian Jews, grew up in the New York Bronx – the quarter of Hispanos, Italians and Irish immigrants – his young years provided him with the ideal basis for a convincing, completely original musical symbiosis, coming from the heart, without concessions and sometimes grating – and always passionate.
Amongst the collaborators for this , his 13th album, dealing with human suppression and marginalization, we find old musician friends Steve Swallow, Milton Cardona, Alfredo Triff, Fernando Saunders, Don Byron, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and many more.

Kip Hanrahan - At home in Anger

Coup de tête

Label: Surplus value
Release date: April 01, 2008

“Put succinctly, this is one of the most daring, innovative records we’ve heard in years… A remarkable, seamless essay on the possibilities of a world music. A milestone. The Best Record of the Year” (1981)

“Once in a blue moon, a new record will stick out, I’ll play it again and again. I’ll call friends with similar tastes and interests and play it for them. And once I’ve listened to the album a dozen times or so, all of the accumulated frustration from listening to mundane products will have somehow been eased. Kip Hanrahan’s coup de tete is such an album.
Atlanta Journal / Constitution Weekend

”.A record which will begin an epoch … Remember the name: Kip Hanrahan, filled with talent, ambition, ideas…”
Le Monde, Paris

Kip Hanrahan - Coup de tête

Beautiful Scars

Label: American Clavé
Release date: January 01, 2007

The name Kip Hanrahan might be unknown to the grand majority of the public that enjoys Afro-Caribbean music. And it shouldn’t be that way, since this brilliant musician and producer has created some of the most important works of the genre in the last 20 years. Creator of the innovative seal of American Clave… It is cause for joy to know that Kip returns anew to the battle with the fascinating “Beautiful Scars”, where once again he gives us a dose of his infinite creativity.

”...The CD represents an eclectic taste, characteristic of Hanrahan, making it difficult to explain the content of its themes, which are a mix of jazz, rumba, guaracha, son, hip hop, danzón, rock, blues, and many other things. Kip Hanrahan is a giant of our music and of music in general. If you aren’t familiar with his work, you can begin with the two volumes of “Deep Rumba”. Bit by bit, you will be hypnotized by his work – as happened to this writer – and you will certainly finish by listening to “Beautiful Scars”, his most recent and grandiose production, much like the rest of his extraordinary musical testament…”
- Eric Gonzalez

Kip Hanrahan - Beautiful Scars


Release date: April 01, 2004

”...This glinting, dramatic,pan-American music, which demands to be heard in one extensive sitting, is like running through the streets of Manhattan at hyperspeed ….This is an unselfconsciously powerful, important achievement that plays like a grand, expensive love letter to the city from Hanrahan, who, thankfully, is more a romantic than a musicologist.”
Tom Moon, Musician December 1990

”...Hanrahan’s albums are born of a logic and vision which transcends the limitations of style. Unique in its diversity, Hanrahan’s music is also unique in its singularity… ‘Tenderness’ cuts even closer to the bone. The rich variety of influences are melded rather than mixed; the result is dark, thorny and uncompromising…”
David Ilic, City Limits Magazine (London) Nov 29, 1990

Kip Hanrahan - Tenderness