An update from Jake Hanna’s niece, Maria Judge:

As you know, I’ve been compiling material for more than a year, and it is shaping up nicely into If It Didn’t Swing It Wasn’t Jake: The Rhythm and Wit of Drummer Jake Hanna.  So far I have reached out to 111 people, 65 of whom have sent me something, 38 of whom have promised something, and 8 of whom I’m still waiting to hear from. I hope to connect with and hear from those 46 outstanding contributors within the next few weeks.  I have so enjoyed speaking with all of you and hearing your great Jake stories, most of which I hadn’t heard before. So please don’t worry if you think someone else has already told me what you were planning to share. And please don’t feel like you have to tell me something funny. I welcome your stories of how he inspired you and mentored you, how you enjoyed working together, and what an all-around great guy he was.

Here’s a quick description of the way the book is taking shape: Jake’s life doesn’t lend itself to a standard `story of his life’ format so this book is not structured along typical biographical lines. Instead, stories and tributes from fellow musicians, friends and family are woven throughout the chronology of his career as he progressed from big band drummer of the 1950’s and 60’s, through his role in the last era of studio orchestras, to working independently with singers,  instrumentalists and small groups, including several of his own.

My plan is to finish the manuscript by the end of October and then prepare for publication. I’ve sent out proposals to several publishers and am waiting to hear back. If I don’t get someone else to publish it I’ll do it myself – that was my original plan, anyway – and aim to have it in print by this winter. I hope that timeline works for those who would like to send me something.

I’ve set up a blog where I will post occasional information about the progress of the book.  You can subscribe to it to receive periodic updates, and please don’t worry about being overloaded with them. I won’t be doing too many updates for now.

Thank you so much for being a part of this, and I look forward to hearing back from you with more additions to the collection.

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