Founder and owner Eric Hanson has been involved in the business of live music since 1989 in capacities ranging from tour manager to manager and booking agent to talent buyer.
FOUNDER / OWNER
Eric’s first agency, Steppin’ In Artist Development, represented a diverse roster of artists including Art Ensemble of Chicago, World Saxophone Quartet, Don Pullen, Nina Simone, David Murray, Sex Mob, Matthew Shipp. Stroke 9 and Steve Tibbetts.
Originally based in Brooklyn, NY., Steppin’ In made the move with him to New Haven, CT in 1993 while he earned a masters degree in African-American Studies from Yale University. Eric moved to San Francisco in 1996 and joined The Rosebud Agency in the management division, working with John Lee Hooker (whom he also tour-managed), Robert Cray, John Hammond, Duke Robillard, Loudon Wainwright III and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. During this time and for three more years, he continued running Steppin’ In on the West Coast. He left Rosebud in February 1997 to run Steppin’ In full-time. In January 2000, an agent position at Ted Kurland Associates in Boston opened up. Eric headed back east and joined the agency, bringing Nina Simone with him as a client. Eric booked artists including Sonny Rollins, Ramsey Lewis, Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis while at TKA and remained there through December 2006, when he left to start his second booking agency, Tree Lawn Artists. The agency’s clients included the Yellowjackets, Eliane Elias, the Jeff Lorber Fusion, Nicholas Payton, Groove Collective, Charlie Hunter, Chuck Brown and Marco Benevento. In 2010, he co-founded Masquerade Artist Management along with Dean Riopelle, the late owner of the Atlanta rock club The Masquerade, which managed Evan Dando of The Lemonheads during his reunion tour with former collaborator Juliana Hatfield.
At the end of 2011, Eric was named Artistic Director of Yoshi’s San Francisco. While there, he presented artists as diverse as Alan Parsons, Keith Sweat, Henry Rollins, Christopher Cross, The Tubes, Pat Metheny and Kenny G. Next he returned to Rosebud, this time as an agent, and booked artists including Trombone Shorty, Mavis Staples, Jim Lauderdale and BeauSoleil. When Rosebud ceased its booking operations at the end of 2013, Eric briefly served as Midwestern agent for Baylin Artists Management and was also a European agent for International Music Network with clients Wayne Shorter, Brad Mehldau and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. From 2015-2018, he was Director of Booking for AB Artists in NYC, representing Pharoah Sanders and Jane Monheit. He founded Head Booking in 2019 which he continues to operate, exclusively representing Sweet Honey in the Rock, Tuck & Patti, and Tia Fuller.