Arthur Hanlon is the first Emmy nominated chart topping pianist we’ve had on Dystopia Tonight and he was a blast to talk to! Not only a pianist but a songwriter and arranger who is widely known in the Latin music realm for becoming the first pianist to r...
Arthur Hanlon is the first Emmy nominated chart topping pianist we’ve had on Dystopia Tonight and he was a blast to talk to! Not only a pianist but a songwriter and arranger who is widely known in the Latin music realm for becoming the first pianist to reach the Billboard Latin airplay charts in more than a decade and the first to have a No. 1 on Billboard's Tropical Airplay chart.
His latest creative endeavor comes right out of the pandemic and will be premiering on HBO Max titled: Piano Y Mujer!
We talk about that, how a guy from Detroit got his start in the Latin music scene, his inspirations, being star struck and of course life on the road. Enjoy!
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Pianist / Songwriter / Arranger
"Like Elton John, Hanlon has the ability to focus with laser-like precision on the melodic essence of a song and rework it to find new dramatism. Hanlon doesn’t sing, and you could think the piano would limit him to instrumental albums, but that isn’t the case. Like Chris Botti, trumpeter for Sting, or rock guitarist Ottmar Liebert, Hanlon brings a broad range of guest artists to create fascinating albums."- The Houston Chronicle
Chart topping pianist/composer/arranger and Billboard and Emmy-nominee Arthur Hanlon is the single most recognizable name in Latin instrumental music today. Born in Detroit to Irish American parents, Hanlon found his calling in Latin music and has done what no one else has accomplished in Latin instrumental music, becoming the only pianist to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Latin charts and the only pianist to hit Billboard’s Latin Airplay charts in over a decade. A virtuoso with a master’s degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music, Hanlon plays a distinctive blend of Detroit street, classical virtuosity and Latin beats and he has recorded and performed with superstars like Laura Pausini, Marc Anthony, Juanes, Luis Fonsi, Myriam Hernandez, Sergio Vallín and Ricardo Montaner.
Arthur’s latest release is the groundbreaking “Encanto del Caribe: Arthur Hanlon & Friends,” recorded live at 500-year-old Castillo San Cristobal in Puerto Rico, a US National Monument that for the first time ever allowed filming inside its walls. Featuring Arthur on his signature 9-foot blue piano, Encanto del Caribe features guest artists Marc Anthony, Italian superstar Laura Pausini, New York Yankee and guitar virtuoso Bernie Williams, Puerto Rican legend Cheo Feliciano, Grammy-winning Spanish diva Natalia Jiménez and rising Puerto Rican star Ana Isabelle. “Encanto del Caribe” which features a 40-piece orchestra as well as legions of dancers, acrobats and performers on stage, is airing on public television stations across the country and the deluxe CD/DVD “Encanto del Caribe,” out on Universal Music Latino, spent over eight weeks on the Top 10 of Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. Highlights include Marc Anthony singing Puerto Rican classic “En Mi Viejo San Juan,” Cheo Feliciano and Bernie Williams on Feliciano’s signature track, “El Ratón,” Natalia Jiménez on first radio single “Historia de un Amor,” Laura Pausini on the piano-voice duet “Prendo Te” and Ana Isabelle on a bilingual version of “La Cumparsita.”
“Encanto del Caribe is a celebration of the convergence of cultures,” says Arthur, who co-produced the album with Julio Reyes-Copello. “It really shows that there are no divisions in music, it’s not black and white, and that as artists we can all come together to perform music from anywhere in the world.”
A Universal Music Latino recording artist, Arthur is the only instrumentalist currently signed to a major Latin label. His 2009 album, “Piano Sin Fronteras” (Piano With No Borders), is a collection of his own compositions, performed with Laura Pausini, Luis Fonsi, Juanes, Chilean superstar Myriam Hernández, Brazil’s Alexandre Pires and Sergio Vallín, guitarist for leading Latin rock band Maná. The album’s hits include “Ya Te Olvidé,” a duet with Venezuelan superstar Ricardo Montaner which hit the top 20 of Billboard’s Latin pop and Hot Latin Songs charts.
Arthur’s 2008 Christmas track, “Esta Navidad,” nominated for an Emmy award, was selected by the Univision network as its official Christmas song for 2008, while his 2010 Christmas hit “Navidad Navidad,” was also featured on Univision stations nationwide, with Arthur on piano and featuring Chino & Nacho and Dulce Maria.
Arthur also composed “The Drop of Life,” (“La Gota De La Vida”) song to benefit the outreach program of cancer research center City of Hope in Los Angeles. The song was recorded by a legion of 46 stars—including Placido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Enrique Iglesias, Luis Fonsi and David Bisbal—and Arthur on piano.
Arthur started playing the piano at six, and at 15, was already playing professional gigs with Detroit’s leading bands, hiding his real age in order to get into the clubs that were booking him.
The Latin in him is the product of his life in New York City, where he completed postgraduate work in classical piano performance at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music and continued to obtain his Master’s Degree. Most importantly, while in New York and living in Spanish Harlem, Arthur fell in love with Latin music and started playing Latin gigs around the city which irreversibly changed his life.
Arthur’s first album was an independent recording of purely original material, appropriately titled “Encuentros.” He then signed to Fonovisa, with whom he released three albums, including top-selling “11 Números Uno,” and 2005’s hugely successful “La Gorda Linda,” featuring Tito Nieves, Ana Bárbara and Arturo Sandoval.
The single “La Gorda Linda” became the first track ever by a pianist to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Latin charts making Arthur a multiple Billboard Latin Music Award finalist. Arthur followed up with 2006’s critically acclaimed “Mecanomanía,” a tribute to Spanish pop group Mecano.