Born: January 12, 1944 Primary Instrument: Drums
Born 1944 in Los Angeles, CA. In 1948 moved to Saudi Arabia with his mother to join his father who worked for the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco)located in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
At the young age of 11 years, Dannee found himself enrolled at the Institute Montana Zugerberg, an all boys international school in Switzerland. It was here that drums became a strong influence. His very first drum set was a pair of brushes and a set of bongo drums. His favorite musical stars at the time were Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Along with singing, Dannee played the guitar and the drums.
At the age of 14, he started a band at the Institute and gave concerts 3-4 times a year. This was something new that had never before been accomplished on that campus. His fellow students loved the band and could not wait until the next concert. At age 15 Dannee attended a concert with a group called the Gerry Mulligan Quartet and the Benny Goodman Orchestra which featured Gene Krupa playing Sing,Sing,Sing. The effect upon hearing this music was so profound that it caused Dannee to give away all his Rock and Roll albums and to concentrate seriously on Jazz music.
During these formative years, Dannee taught himself and others to play Jazz and continued to give Jazz concerts at school. He created the school's first Jazz club and convinced the Director that students should attend Jazz concerts. In the remaining years at the Swiss school he was able to see concerts by The Oscar Peterson Trio, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, JJ Johnson, Stan Getz, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Ahmed Jamal, Cannonball Adderly, John Coltrane Quartet and Dave Brubeck Quartet... Dannee was now hooked on the Jazz art form and was intent on learning it.
After graduating from high school, Dannee attended Berklee College of Music (then called Berklee School of Music). He studied under such distinguished instructors as Alan Dawson, Herb Pomeroy, John La Porta, and Jack Peterson. Later he studied privately with drummer Pete La Roca (Peter Sims). He played sessions with Keith Jarrett, Mick Goodrick, Gene Perla, John Abercrombie, Sam Rivers, Sadao Watanabe, Byard Lancaster and other students at the time. He performed with the Keith Jarrett Trio for two years (Boston trio).
He was then drafted into the US Army (Vietnam era) and served in various Army Bands over the 24 years that he served our country. During his service, he traveled to Europe, Korea, Okinawa and many locations within the United States. While serving in the Army, Dannee performed with Maynard Ferguson, Herb Ellis, The Ink Spots, Bill Watrous, Bill Lohr, “Jazz Express” (Dannee's own group) John Payne, Don Erdman, Kurt Black, Buddy Tate, Joe Newman, Mike Francis and Curt Warren to name a few. In 1975 he was an instructor/mentor for Joey Baron and was instrumental in getting him to pursue music and go on to Berklee.
In October 1989, Dannee retired from the military while stationed at Fort Lewis, WA. He settled in a suburb of Tacoma called Univerity Place and he has since worked with many prominent local musicians: Jack Percival, Sid Potter, Tim Eikholt, Tom Russell, Gary Black, Joe Bach, Roger Gard, Pete Lira, Bob McNamara, Ken Upton and Lance Buller.
Drum Set: Whitney Drum Company