Hannah Barstow (b. 1994) is an up-and-coming pianist, vocalist and composer in the Toronto music scene. As a performer, she is firmly rooted in the tradition of jazz, and is strongly influenced by the classic trios and quartets of Shirley Horn, Ahmad Jamal and Blossom Dearie. As a composer, her jazz, classical, pop, and Bossa Nova influences come through. She composes and arranges “tunes” for groups as small as her trio to large women’s choirs and big bands.
Hannah’s trio has regularly performed at the Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar since June of 2015, and they were featured as the student performers at the Ken Page Memorial Trust Fundraising Gala in October of 2015. She has also led groups at the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival for the past twelve years, including the summer of 2016 when she was featured as the Rising Young Star. She has performed with a number of renowned Canadian artists including Emilie Claire Barlow, Mike Murley, Steve Wallace, Pat Collins, the Brian Barlow Big Band, the Greg Runions Big Band with the Kingston Symphony, and most recently was commissioned to write and arrange for the Kingston women's choir She Sings! led by Martha Hill Duncan. In November of 2018 she performed on a short tour in Santiago and Viña del Mar, Chile, with Mike Murley.
Hannah has an ARCT in piano performance (Royal Conservatory of Music) and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance on piano from the University of Toronto (U of T). Hannah has received a number of awards through U of T, including the Albert and Wilhelmine Francis Renewable Scholarship in Music (2012-2016), the U of T Jazz Arranging Prize (2015), and the Oscar Peterson Grant for Jazz Performance as part of the Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artists Grant program (2015). She has studied with some of Toronto’s leading musicians, including U of T faculty Mike Murley, Dave Restivo, Christine Duncan, Terry Promane and Chris Donnelly. Before university, she studied with Mark Eisenman and Kingston-based composer Martha Hill Duncan.
Hannah is a piano and voice teacher at Annex Academy of Music. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she worked as a sessional lecturer at U of T in the Jazz Studies program (2016-2017). She has taught at the Interprovincial Music Camp (IMC) since 2017. In the fall of 2017, Hannah released her debut jazz EP, “Hannah Barstow Trio,” which was recorded by the Suba Institute, and later in 2017, she released her Christmas jazz EP, “Christmas for Two,” with Toronto jazz vocalist Kalya Ramu. She is currently doing a master's degree in jazz performance at the University of Toronto.