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Roland Hanna Dies

Roland Hanna, a pianist with a deep knowledge of jazz that allowed him to play in many contexts died Nov. 13 in Hackensack, N.J. of a viral infection of the heart. He was 70.

Born Roland Pembroke Hanna in Detroit on Feb. 10, 1932, Hanna began playing classical piano at 11. He was introduced to jazz in high school by his friend Tommy Flanagan. Hanna soon became one of the city’s leading jazz pianists, along with Flanagan, Hank Jones and Barry Harris, and helped forged a Detroit piano style that combined the technicality and harmonic advancements of bebop with the charm of early blues, stride and ragtime playing.

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