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About Dan Weiss
New York-based drummer and percussionist Dan Weiss' sound is instantly recognizable due to its balance of modern jazz and East Indian rhythms. Weiss grew up with a guitar-playing father and was exposed to music early on. He began playing in his teens when he first heard recordings by Led Zeppelin -- he counts John Bonham as his very first influence, and Led Zeppelin IV as the record that convinced him to become a drummer. Soon after, he became a Rush fan and a metalhead. His first 14 years of playing were dominated by rock & roll. It was his drum teacher, Jeff Krause, who introduced him to jazz via records by Max Roach & Clifford Brown, and Count Basie. Weiss changed course almost immediately.
He attended the Manhattan School of Music and received a B.A. in Jazz Percussion & Classical Composition; he later studied tabla with Samir Chatterjee, drum set studies with John Riley, composition work with David Noon, and frame drums with Jamey Haddad. Weiss has four working bands: Dan Weiss Trio (w/Thomas Morgan and Jacob Sacks), the Dan Weiss/Miles Okazaki Duo, the Dan Weiss/Ari Hoenig Duo, and a co-billed collaborative project with Lorenzo Feliciati, Joel Harrison, Roy Powell, and Cuong Vu.
Weiss' first album was Tintal Drum Set Solo on Chhandayan Records in 2005 (that same year he contributed to David Binney's Bastion of Sanity on Criss Cross). Now Yes When by the Dan Weiss Trio was on Toneofapitch in 2006, as was his second date as a member of Binney's band, Cities and Desire. Mirror, recorded with Okazaki, also appeared in 2006. Weiss' Tabla Solo appeared on Chhandayan in 2007. He guested on rock band Bloody Panda's Pheromone, and was part of the Jackson Harrison Trio for The Land Tides, issued on Hatology that year. He premiered his composition Trio for Piano, Violin and Percussion in Nova Scotia in 2008, and recorded his first date with Joel Harrison; entitled The Wheel, it was released on Innova. In 2009, Weiss recorded Apti as a member of Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition. In 2010, his second large composition, Layas: For Piano, Drums and Orchestras, was conducted by Ohad Talmor and premiered in Portugal. His trio released Timshel on Sunnyside.
Weiss is also an instructor. He provides private instruction for tabla and drum kit, and is a faculty member at both the New School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. His first recorded collaboration with his new band -- Feliciati, Joel Harrison, Powell, and Cuong Vu -- is titled Holy Abyss. It was released in late January of 2012 by Cuneiform Records.
Two years later, the drummer began his partnership with Pi Recordings and issued the ambitious seven-part suite, Fourteen, with his large ensemble. Sixteen: A Drummer's Suite followed in 2016, along with Weiss' collaboration with Florian Weber and Donny McCaslin on Criss Cross: Exploring the Music of Monk and Bill Evans for Enja. In 2018, Weiss realized his longstanding dream of assembling some of the most accomplished players on the jazz scene to play music that combines jazz with heavy metal and electronic new music. To that end, he recruited Craig Taborn on acoustic and electric piano, Matt Mitchell on piano and Prophet 6, modular synthesizers, guitarist Ben Monder, and electric bassist Trevor Dunn. Entitled Starebaby, it was issued by Pi Recordings in April, followed by a European tour. ~ Thom Jurek
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