Photo |  Sara Hughes   

Photo | Sara Hughes

Minnesota native, Hanna Cesario, has redefined the way we think of the ukulele.  She brings forward a refreshing approach to a timeless instrument and genre.  The ears of her listeners perk up whenever she starts to play.  She dives deep into every song giving purpose to each phrase, each note, each word, and everything in-between.  Hanna says, “I love finding a new chart and getting familiar with it: dissecting it, twisting it around, playing with the strumming patterns and vocal inflections, exploring the lyrics to find that precise emotion to expose, and then putting it back together again to form my own interpretation…the composers and musicians of the jazz era have captured a lyric and style that gives me a thrill to perform.” 

Hanna graduated from the University of MN Duluth in 2012 with a BA in Vocal Music.  Although she studied classically she found herself always going back to jazz.  At the end of her 4th year she picked up a friends ukulele and started teaching herself how to play from fake books (a series of books with around 1,000 charts).  She found the ukulele and its delightful simplicity to be the perfect pairing for her sweet, clear, melodic voice.  Her solo music career didn’t start to blossom until after she graduated, and for the following two years the Duluth music scene opened its doors giving Hanna the opportunities she needed to pursue her dream.   

In 2015 she produced and published her first Jazz album full of her own arrangements of favorite standards and one original.  It was recorded in the basement of the Red Herring Lounge and has some familiar Duluth names on it.

Hanna is now back in her hometown of Mankato, MN preforming solo and also with the Dan Duffy Orchestra; a five piece Hot Club Jazz band.