After beginning his musical education at a young age, Roger Hanschel then began to play the saxophone at the age of 11. Early on he developed a fascination for jazz and improvised music and at 14 founded his first group in which he was able to realize his musical visions.
From 1981 to 1987 he studied saxophone at the music academy in Cologne, Germany. At this point, original composition became a major emphasis in his work, along with performing on the saxophone. There he founded the group NANA in 1983 with Hans Lüdemann (piano), Rainer Linke (bass), and Klaus Mages (drums) working extensively with them until 1988. From NANA the group BLAU FRONTAL emerged. This group published 2 CDs between 1989 and 1993, one a trio and one in cooperation with Mark Feldmann and Hank Roberts.
In 1986 he studied at the “School for Fine Arts” in Banff, Canada with Dave Liebmann, Dave Holland, Richie Beirach, and others.
Hanschel is a member of the KÖLNER SAXOPHON MAFIA since 1987. The ensemble has received four German Record Prizes as well as the SWR (Southern German Radio) Jazz Prize in 1999.
In 1994 Hanschel founded the group PLANET BLOW along with Lu Hübsch (tuba) and Jörn Schipper (drums) with whom he toured intensively until 1999. Two CDs record this work. After a tour of India, PLANET BLOW played numerous concerts with the Asian-Indian singer SANDHYA SANJANA. He frequently collaborated with singer GABRIELE HASLER, and regularly performed live with her. They recorded 5 CDs together and were the recipients of the Ensemble-competition „Jazz Arts 2003“ prize (Germany).
From 1994 to 1998 he performed in a duo with the Dutch cellist ERNST REIJSEGER.
He became a member of the STEFFEN SCHORN SEPTET in 1998 and is now performs with Schorn’s UNIVERSE OF POSSIBILITIES.
In 1999 and 2003 he played in the KLAUS KÖNIG ORCHESTRA.
In January 1998 he presented his music for saxophone and string quartet with the title “years of the fifth period.” For this project he collaborated with the FRANKFURT CONTEMPORARY QUARTET, the string section of the ENSEMBLE MODERN. A CD of the same name was released in January 2000.
He also performed “years of the fifth period” with the AURYN QUARTETT while on a three-week tour of South America under the auspices of the Goethe Institute in September 2001.
In 2000, along with Steffen Schorn and Dirk Mündelein, he founded TRIOSPHERE, which released their first CD in 2004 (winner of the German Record Critics‘ Prize). Triosphere won the Ensemble-competition „Jazz Arts 2003,“ the same year his duo with Hasler won a prize.
In addition Hanschel is frequently called upon for cross-culture collaborations: in a trio with Stefan Heidtmann (keyboards) and Klaus Kugel (drums, percussion) Hanschel participated in new music/film production called ORNAMENTS OF LIGHT AND SOUND (with Ruth Hommelsheim, film; video art)
In 2006 he founded the quartet ROGER HANSCHELS HEAVY ROTATION (with Markus Segschneider, Dietmar Fuhr, and Daniel Schröteler (currently Bodek Janke)).
Since 2007 he has been performing SOLO CONCERTS throughout Europe and released his first complete solo CD in March 2011.
He has most recently collaborated as a soloist with the NORWEGIAN WIND ENSEMBLE, the NDR BIG BAND (Germany), and GOTLAND MUSIKEN (Sweden) and ZÜRICH JAZZORCHESTRA. In 2015 he has collaborated with the ORQUESTRA DE CAMATA THEATRO SAO PEDRO (Porto Alegre) playing his music.
In 2014 he produced his music „Niederschlagsmengen“ together with the AURYN QUARTETT. He also founded in this year the TRIO BENARES (Deobrat Mishra – Sitar, Prashant Mishra – Tabla). The CD „Assi Ghat“ won the award of the germann CD-critics.
Since 2010 he teaches saxophone at the Musikhochschule in Cologne.