Jazz Sessions: In Conversation with Dylan McHann

Get to know our upcoming headliner for Jazz Sessions on June 13
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Introduce yourself and anyone else who may be playing with you for Jazz Sessions and where you are from?

I am Dylan McHann, and I am joined by Sam Hart on the drums as well as Noah Nipp on the upright bass. I am a saxophonist originally from St. Petersburg, Florida. I moved to Miami 5 years ago to pursue my bachelors degree at the Frost School and recently graduated. 

What initially inspired you to pursue a career in jazz music?

In the 8th grade, a teacher of mine recommended that I study the saxophone and jazz music outside of class. I began to interact with students who could play amazing things on their instruments, and was taught by some of the best musicians in the area. After this, my practicing began to take off. I would practice for hours every day, as well as enjoying performing and taking gigs. 

What can attendees expect from your upcoming performance?

My playing is influenced by the greats of straight ahead jazz. I love music that swings and feels really good to play and listen to. I love the idea of improvisation and that anything can happen in the moment, musically speaking.

What are some of the key influences that have shaped your unique sound?

Saxophonists like John Coltrane, Stan Getz, and Coleman Hawkins are some of my all-time favorites.

If you could play with any one musician (living or dead) who would that be and why?

I’d love to play with the drummer Elvin Jones, because his musical energy had such an infectious rhythm. I get caught up listening to his ride cymbal on the recordings he did. 

What is one of your favorite places you’ve performed in your career so far?

I’ve been fortunate to perform at a number of prestigious venues and festivals. Top moments for me were Dizzy’s Club in April of 2023 with a small group from Frost as well as the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2021 with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. We also performed at the Victoria and Vancouver Jazz Festivals earlier that year in the summer. 

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