Born: November 21 Primary Instrument: Piano
Al Daniels is an accomplished, well rounded artist and musician. While still in high school he won his first award for his musical talents. His classical performance on piano in the Young Musicians Competition (sponsored by Pepsi) won him a new piano and an appearance with the San Francisco Symphony. So, it was no surprise when he won recognition in the recent Jazziz Magazine Keyboards on Fire Competition for his original jazz composition Intimate Pursuit. He was featured in the April 97 issue of that magazine.
He was drawn to the piano at age 7, playing mostly by ear. After some formal lessons, he moved onto classical study with Bay Area pianist Jules Haywood. By the end of high school, he had won the Young Musicians Award and continued on to two years of college at San Francisco State University. Upon entering college he was equally adept at playing jazz piano because of his talent for playing by ear. He was further guided in jazz playing by John Handy, who was just beginning the jazz studies program at State.
His progress towards a bachelors degree was continued at Cornish Institute in Seattle, WA. There he studied with bassist Gary Peacock, trombonist Julian Priester, and pianist Art Lande. It was in Seattle that he formed the Al Daniels Trio which included Peter Perfido (drums) and the world renowned Hein Van de Geyn (bass). He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Cornish and was awarded a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) Degree. He recently completed study requirements and has been awarded a Master of Music Degree from Californina State University, Los Angeles.
Performing mostly in the Los Angeles area, he leads his own ensemble. Most recently he has appeared providing keyboards for saxophonist Ronnie Laws, and the award winning jazz group CJS Quintet. As co- founder/keyboardist/arranger of the Riverside-San Bernardino group JASPER he wrote original music for that group which featured stellar reed players such as Gerald Albright, Everette Harp, Brandon Fields, Steve Tavaglione and many others.
In addition to playing keyboards Daniels is a vocalist as well. Two vocal numbers appear on his Life in the Balance CD, and he sings “Imaginary Movie” on the Themes in Search of a Movie CD. He has also written songs for the gospel group The Jackson Family which have been released on A&M Records and Sony/Epic Records.
Awards:CJSQuintet - 1st Place Winners Chuck Niles International Jazz Competition, June 2005
Top 10 Finalist, "Keyboards on Fire" Competition, 1995 Sponsored by Jazziz Magazine
Semi �" Finalist, Concerto Competition California State University, Fullerton 1988
Finalist Award, Piano Young Musicians Competition (Sponsored by Pepsi Cola) 1968
“Los Angeles based pianist, Al Daniels...settles into a comfortable groove on I'll Be Home for Christmas...Of the seven solo tracks, my favorites are Daniels' whimsical, toe- tapping arrangement of Decked Out (the Halls) and his slowly swinging version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Away in a Manger and O Come, O Come Emmanuel showcase his gentler side; both are lovely readings of these traditional church carols. Daniels is joined by a combo for Hark the Herald Angels Sing and A Midnight Samba Clear, and both give ample exposure to trumpeter Mike Figal and guitarist Bryan Clark. The latter track is the album’s highlight: a lively reading and a clever arrangement…you’ll find good musicality here…I look forward to Daniels’ rise as a jazz artist.”
Derrick Bang Entertainment Editor
Grand Piano Stories
Tracks: Maiden/Dolphin Dance; Pensativa; Someone to Watch Over Me; Stella By Starlight; Sophisticated Lady; The Way to You; Time in a Bottle; Tones for Joan's Bones; Never Never Land; With a Song in My Heart
Personnel: Al Daniels: Solo Piano.
Tracks: This O, Christmas Tree; Christmas Lullaby; I'll be Home for Christmas; Hark the Herald Angels Sing; Have Yourself a Merry; Away in a Manger; Decked Out! (the Halls); A Midnight Samba Clear; O Come, O Come Emmanuel; Christmastime.
Personnel: Al Daniels: Solo Piano. Mike Figal: Trumpet. Bryan Clark: Guitar. Mica Fisher: Vocals
Themes In Search of a Movie
Tracks: Tenaya-The Falls; Theme from "The Caravan"; Waltz for a Melancholy Movie; Al's Bar Theme; The Gospel According to Joe & Eddie; Christmastime; Three Lives One Movie; My Imaginary Movie; In Winters' Time; Theme from "Moonlight in Rio".
Personnel: Al Daniels: Keyboards, Vocals. Steve Alaniz: Woodwinds. Bryan Clark: Guitar. Chuck Johnson: Tenor Sax. Mica Fisher: Vocals.
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
B.M. Cornish Institute
M.M. CSU Los Angeles Available Weekends
Reasonable Hr. Rates