Born: May 9, 1965 Primary Instrument: Piano
Its unusual to find a pianist who captivates with high-energy improvised fusion lines, and moments later seduces with evocative classic jazz ballad melodies. Dan Freedman’s heritage and character makes him that pianist, and his passion to innovate puts him at the edge of performance artistry.
Strongly influenced by Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea, and Bill Evans, Dan always inserts his own unique sound and style to match the needs of each performance. Always seeing music as an interactive art form that connects player and listener, Dan is very well tuned into the needs of his audience, never taking them too far away from a well-loved melody, yet always offering them something fresh and unusual to focus on. An avid composer not constrained by the labels of any particular genre, Dan has been called upon to provide his original compositions for motion picture and advertising use. Dan's piano playing and compositions show a clear line of influences stretching back beyond Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea, and Bill Evans, to Art Tatum, Victor Feldman, and Nat Cole. Dan also attentively listens to Hiromi Uehara, Austin Peralta, and Benny Green. He cites non-pianistic musical influences as including Miles Davis, Toots Thielemans, Charlie Parker, Sting, Prince, Blondie, Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, The Beach Boys, Queen, and The Beatles. While retaining references to these and other influences, Dan has developed his own unique sound and style, both in his playing and in his compositions.
Now living in Honolulu, Dan was originally born in London, England. He learned to love music and the piano from his parents who were heavily involved in both music and theater. This happily provided Dan with an ideal grounding in the British and American Songbooks. His first regular gig was a weekly radio spot at age 11 as Dan the piano man in the United Kingdom, where he mostly played show tunes he learned from watching his parents’ musical theater performances.
Dan graduated from college in the Winter Olympic city of Calgary, Canada, studying jazz piano performance under renowned Canadian pianist Dave Diver at the Mount Royal College Conservatory of Music and Speech Arts, and also at the Berklee College of Music.
Drawn at an early age to computers and software, Dan also earned bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science, specializing in network security and performance. He pursued a 20 year career as a software company serial entrepreneur, and even ran anti-virus company McAfee's security products division in the mid-1990's. His award-winning product lines and companies have been acquired over the years by IBM, Symantec, McAfee, and others.
Dan also fell in love at an early age with the view of the earth from the sky, and has earned pilot licenses and type ratings in several kinds of gliders, airplanes, and helicopters.
After moving to Honolulu in 2007, the creative call of music became loud and clear, and this together with the needs of his family, became Dan's main focus moving forward.
Today, Dan plays for audiences at concerts and more intimate venues at home and around the world, and loves the spark of creativity that comes from sitting in with musicians to see what happens!