We've all heard it: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The adage applies to music as much as anything. A case in point is violinist and bandleader Susie Hansen.
“In the last five years,” she says from her Los Angeles home, “I've had to cut down the personnel in my band from nine or 10 pieces to six.”
But even without the horns, extra voices and percussion, the Susie Hansen Band still plays most of the parts in the arrangements of the group's book.
Resourcefulness and mental toughness are part of the Hansen's toolbox. As a Chicagoan with a degree in chemistry and an extensive grounding in jazz, classical music and Appalachian music, she was smitten with Latin music. She moved to L.A. and established herself as a formidable player and leader. In SoCal's Latin music scene, only conguero Poncho Sanchez's band works as often.
The Susie Hansen Band alights at Joe's Great American Bar & Grill this Thursday, an occurrence she's likely to repeat. “It's a sweet room,” she enthuses. “We'd like to make it a once-a-month residence.”