The third of seven children, Hanlon started playing the piano at six, and at 15, was already playing professional gigs in Detroit with ensembles that included the Flip Jackson Band. Hanlon would eventually get his masters degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
While in New York, he encountered Latin music head-on, and regularly played Latin club gigs while at the same time studying the music of classical composers.
Hanlon’s first album was an independent recording of purely original material, appropriately titled ’’Encuentros.’’ Licensed by Max Music and distributed by Universal, Encuentros brought Hanlon to the attention of Fonovisa Records, the leading indie Latin label in the country at the time, with whom he signed in 2000.
Hanlon’s first release with Fonovisa Records was El Piano Amarillo (The Yellow Piano) and eclectic mix of Latin, dance and pop fare produced by Colombian producers Estéfano and Julio Reyes (of Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez fame).
He followed up with 11 Números Uno, a more classically-tinged album of covers of Latin standards plus one of his original compositions.
He consolidated himself as an instrumentalist with 2005’s La Gorda Linda, an album of mostly original material that featured a handful of guest artists, including jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, salsa star Tito Nieves and Mexican singer Ana Bárbara. The album was produced by Grammy winners Sergio George and Kike Santander and was a multiple finalist for the 2006 Billboard Latin Music Awards, in which Hanlon performed.
In 2006, Hanlon was signed by EMI, and released Mecanomanía, an album of covers of Spanish pop trio Mecano, set to chill-out arrangements.
The video for the album’s first single, “Hijo de la Luna,” was shot at the Baldwin piano factory, marking the first time in the company’s nearly 100 year history that a music video was shot in its installations.
In 2007, Hanlon toured the United States with Puerto Rican pop star Chayanne, opening a series of arena dates for the singer.
Hanlon is currently signed to Universal Latin. His first album under the label was 2009's "Piano Sin Fronteras." The album, which Hanlon wrote or co-wrote in its entirety, features collaborations with some of the top names in Latin music, including Colombian rock star Juanes, Italian diva Laura Pausini, Sergio Vallín--guitarist for rock group Maná, Brazilian superstar Alexandre Pires, Venezuelan icon Ricardo Montaner, pop star Luis Fonsi and Chilean singer Myriam Hernandez.
Hanlon has also recorded several Christmas singles that have been used for different campaigns. "Esta Navidad," which Hanlon wrote in 2008 and which features Puerto Rican singer Janina on vocals, was used by the Univision Network for their Christmas on-air campaign in several markets, including Miami, New York and Chicago. The song was also released as a single to radio. In 2010, Hanlon wrote and recorded a second Christmas single, "Navidad, Navidad," which he recorded with Venezuelan duo Chino y Nacho and Mexican singer Dulce Maria on vocals. The song is a Spanish version adaptation of Jingle Bells. It was also used by Univision for its Christmas campaign on several major Latin markets.
In 2011, Hanlon traveled to Puerto Rico to film "Encanto del Caribe" at Castillo San Cristobal a historic fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The show was being filmed as a special for public television. Hanlon's guests included Marc Anthony, Laura Pausini, Natalia Jimenez, Bernie Williams, Cheo Feliciano and Ana Isabelle. Hanlon performed on his blue grand piano accompanied by a 40-piece orchestra conducted by Puerto Rican arranger and conductor Cucco Pena. The special was produced by SBS Entertainment, a U.S.-based Latin media company and funded by the Puerto Rican government. The CD/DVD "Encanto del Caribe" was released in August, 2012 by Universal Music Latino.
Read more about this topic: Arthur Hanlon
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