Dan Del Negro is an experienced pianist, synthesist, composer, arranger, producer, and music director, at home in many musical situations including rhythm sections, orchestras, vocal accompaniment, and solo piano. He is fluent in many musical styles, including pop, R&B, blues, jazz, Latin, Broadway, and classical. He is known for a lyrical, "tasty" style and the ability to "gel" and "groove" with other musicians and vocalists. He is also adept at working with synthesizer sounds, notation software, and the modern recording studio.
Dan's musical career began when he began playing TV themes by ear on his aunt's piano in his home town of Chicago. In school, Dan studied keyboards and woodwinds, played in classical and jazz ensembles large and small, and accompanied theatre and choral groups. He spent 2 years in intense study of piano performance, composition, and jazz arranging at DePaul University. Dan played piano and synth on many national jingles, including State Farm. With his own company, "Touch Music" he did spots for Spiegel and several local TV shows. In the 90's, Dan played in Chicago "house orchestras" for touring Broadway shows, including "Les Miz", "Phantom", "Miss Saigon", and "Grease"; he worked with Sally Struthers, Elke Sommer, Davy Jones , Eddie Mekka , Barry Williams, and Rex Smith.
Dan moved to LA in 1995, and played "Beauty and the Beast", "Showboat", "Carousel", and "the Dead", with stars including Richard Chamberlain, Tom Bosley, Michel Bell of the Fifth Dimension, and Sally Kellerman. Dan also worked in the LA jazz scene, with "heavy hitters" like Vinny Coliuta, Bennie Maupin, and Sal Marquez. In 1998, Dan toured nationally with Michael Crawford and a 40-piece orchestra, at venues such as Radio City Music Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Dan worked with singer/actor Joey Gian of "Knots Landing" and their songwriting partnership landed a song, "What if I Loved You", in the MGM film "Return to Me" in 1999. Dan wrote the big band arrangement and played piano for the the recording. He also played in the band for the premiere, backing up Joey and Jim Belushi.
Dan also did arranging, production, music direction, and keyboard work for LA recording artists' showcases, including Laury Shelley and Jane Sheldon.
In the fall of 1999, Dan played "Miss Saigon" for 2 months in Honolulu, and his love for the Islands led him to move to Hawai`i in Nov. 2000 . Since then, Dan has become an active part of the local jazz, convention, and Hawaiian music scenes. He played keyboards for "Na Leo Pilimehana", and did most of the synth and drum tracks for Sean Na`auao's album, "Progression", which won Reggae Album of the Year at the 2002 Hoku Awards. In 2004, he co-produced, arranged, and did all the keyboard, bass, and drum tracks on Keahi Conjugacion's album, "Jazz- Hawaiian Style", which was nominated for Hoku and Grammy Awards that year.
Dan joined the convention band "Paradise & Company" in 2003, and continues to work with them as keyboardist, music director, and arranger.
Dan currently plays piano with the Honolulu Jazz Quartet, whose first CD, "Sounds of the City" was nominated for a Hoku and got kudos from Downbeat Magazine and many radio stations worldwide. Along with guitarist/arranger Robert Shinoda, the band also played on vocalist Ginai's CD, "Jazz Island."
In 2006, the Honolulu Jazz Quartet released their second album, "Tenacity",which Dan played piano on and contributed two original compositions to, "Honolulu Hang" and "Chillin' at the Crib". Legendary jazz critic, Nat Hentoff, was impressed by the recording and contributed liner notes.
Dan has played many concerts with the Honolulu Symphony Pops, and, in the "house band" for the Hawai`i International Jazz Festival , played with Herbie Mann, Eric Marienthal, Nestor Torres, Tiger Okoshi, Gabe Balthazar, David Choy, Jimmy Borges, Scott Martin, and Larry Coryell. He's also done concerts, clubs, and sessions with local artists Noel Okimoto, Abe Lagrimas, Loretta Ables, Azure McCall, Jake Shimabukuro, and many more...
In 2005, the Honolulu Symphony Pops conductor, Matt Catingub, started his own orchestra, "The Matt Catingub Orchestra of Hawai`i", and Dan played piano and synth for Matt's "Hawai`i Romance Festival" in 2007 and 2008, backing up artists such as Natalie Cole, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Aaron Neville, Lucy Arnaz, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Amy Hanaiali`i, HAPA, Keali`i Reichel, Na Leo, and Cecelio and Kapono.
Dan started his own company, Dan Del Negro Productions, Inc., in February 2006.
Around New Year's Day 2007, Dan began to think about how he could combine a life-long interest in spirituality with his musical career. Later, some friends suggested he watch the movie, "The Secret", which led to an internet search for "Law of Attraction". The search resulted in Dan's discovery of New Thought teachings, lots of study, and attending and taking classes at Center for Spiritual Living - Windward O`ahu. In July of that year, Dan became Musical Director at Windward Unity. This led to Dan writing many songs in the New Thought/Positive Music genre, and studying voice with teachers including Rosanna Perch, Ryan Souza, Shari Lynn, and Alethea Train.
Dan's first New Thought / Positive Music album, "Feel the Presence", was realeased in 2009, and won the Hawai`i Music Award for "Inspirational Album of the Year". He has presented the message at Windward Unity and Center For Spiritual Living-Windward O`ahu, combining spoken word, powerpoint presentation, and music. Dan completed the basic 25 classes at Unity Church of Hawai`i and attended his first week of Leadership Training at Unity Village toward becoming a Licensed Unity Teacher, in Oct. 2011.
Dan expanded his singing into the area of jazz standards and scatting, and has been singing on jazz gigs, especially with his trio, one of his favorite formats for jazz.
Dan is currently working on his next New Thought / Positive Music album, a contemporary jazz album, a "straight-ahead" jazz album, a book on spirituality, and more speaking and workshops. He is also planning to do more jazz artist and leader dates, producing, teaching, and recording sessions...