Welcome to Dan's Website!
doorway to Dan's unique World of Jazz...
doorway to Dan's unique World of Jazz...
The Coronavirus—Covid 19—has of course greatly affected and changed our lives. Many of us have lost loved ones and many are in desperate situations, fearing for the future.
The Barretts offer our condolences to those of you who have suffered illness or tragedy in this difficult time.
The music we love is a communal experience. Jazz at its best is an intimate musical and social experience, for both the performer and the listener. As such, this time in our world makes it impossible to share or hear the music as it should be shared and heard. Still, musicians—especially jazz players—are a hardy and diehard lot! It’s never been “easy” for us to eke out a living playing a kind of music that has such a limited popularity. I think most of us musicians look at the virus and its attendant baggage as just a few more hurdles we must face.
Like most of us, I am convinced this will eventually pass. In the meantime, I would ask that you offer your support to those musicians who can use it now. Many are performing online, and have online accounts via PayPal and the other financial service sites that allow you to donate.
When Covid-19 finally breaks--and it will break--please consider having a small (socially safe) event, and hire a band, or even a solo pianist or guitarist. (Or trombonist, ha, ha). Seriously, at some point we all have to jump back into the great Game of Life. It would be a wonderful thing if you asked a musician or two to make that jump with you.
In the meantime, stay positive, and think good thoughts. My CALENDAR page shows when and where I am currently scheduled to perform. I of course hope to add to that when this crisis is finally over. Naturally, I hope to see you at one or more of these events.
All the best to you and yours,
Inspired by the video, "Dance Song (For the End of the World)," by Lizzy and the Triggermen.
While growing up in Costa Mesa, California, Dan discovered jazz during the summer between junior high and his entering high school. It was a great age to hear the South 'Frisco Jazz Band, which played weekends at a local pizza joint. Every Friday and Saturday night, Dan and his high school buddies found themselves at the Pizza Palace. They all dug the great trad sounds, and learned about the music from the band members, all of whom were generous with their knowledge of traditional jazz.
Dan and trumpet legend Andy Blakeney, c. 1972
The first jazz band with which Dan performed was the Fink Street Five, so named because the clarinetist lived on Fink Street in Hollywood, California! (Yes, Virginia, there really is a Fink Street...) During those halcyon years, Dan traveled to Cotati, California, to meet the trumpet legend Lu Watters. Just a couple of years later, during a trip to Earthquake McGoon's jazz club in San Francisco, the fabled trombonist Turk Murphy invited Dan to sit in with his band.
PICTURED ABOVE: Dan and his good friend, cornetist Bryan Shaw, c. 1970
In his early years, Dan honed his chops by playing at the many Sunday afternoon jazz society meetings that were held around Los Angeles. There he met many true legends of jazz, including men who had played with King Oliver; Kid Ory; and even Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong! They were very encouraging to young "Danny." Dan thinks of their kindness as a debt he can never repay.
A very incomplete list of these artists would include: clarinetists Joe Darensbourg and Barney Bigard; trumpeters Andy Blakeney, George Orendorff, and Mike DeLay; pianists Alton Purnell and Bill Campbell; guitarist Nappy Lamare; and bassists Ed "Montudie" Garland and Bill Hadnott. They all helped Dan, and Dan remembers each of them very fondly. Dan was seventeen years old when he was called upon to play with the Resurrection Brass Band at the funeral service of the pioneer New Orleans trombonist Kid Ory, who was laid to rest at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California.
Dan continued to practice and grow as a musician. His local reputation was such that he was invited to join the Sunset Music Company. This was the great, swinging New Orleans-styled band with which Dan made his first of many trips to Europe.
Much later, Dan and his wife Laura moved to New York City. It was during their time in New York that Dan was featured with Benny Goodman's last orchestra. Dan has since become: a leading voice of traditional jazz and swing on both trombone and cornet; is a respected arranger for big bands and small groups; and is sought after as a clinician and jazz educator, both in the USA and Europe.
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