Drummer/Composer DAN SCHNELLE Proudly Announces His Debut Recording: Shine Thru
Available May 13, 2022 on Outside In Music – www.outsideinmusic.com
Featuring: Josh Nelson (piano), Jeff Babko (piano, keyboards), Anthony Wilson (guitar), David Binney (alto saxophone),
Alex Boneham (bass), Dan Schnelle (drums, compositions)
Much in-demand, Los Angeles-based drummer Dan Schnelle promised himself that he wouldn’t record his first full-length album until he felt sure that he had a musical vision unique to him – one that was reflective of his musical instincts, his design, and his concept. The results go beyond any reckoning one may have previously had about this artist. Shine Thru is nothing short of captivating and thrilling, and most importantly, Schnelle has achieved his goal of creating a musical world all his own.
On Shine Thru, Schnelle invites the listener into his sonic globe with the hopes that you’ll be spellbound. Schnelle explains, “My main goal, within the compositional process, was to create and deliver music that transports listeners to a new mental space – to invite them into my world, and make music that feels engrossing, so the listener loses their sense of time and space. If my music can be a portal for even a few people, it has done its job.” A lofty goal? Perhaps, but give-in to the celestial music that Schnelle has created with his amazing team of fellow artists, and longtime collaborators and friends, Josh Nelson (piano), Jeff Babko (piano, keyboards), Anthony Wilson (guitar), David Binney (alto saxophone) and Alex Boneham (bass), and who knows what may happen when you experience Schnelle’s true creative soul which permeates every ounce of this music.
Dan Schnelle’s career, up until now, has been in a support role, something he’s quite adept at: whether that’s playing drums as a sideman for the likes of Billy Childs, Larry Goldings, Alan Ferber, Sara Gazarek, Laurence Hobgood, Walter Smith III, Joshua White, John Daversa, Dayna Stephens, Phillip Dizack, Nick Finzer, Larry Koonse, David Benoit, Karrin Allyson and many others. Collaborating with these incredible bandleaders and playing their compositions has taught him a lot about musical landscapes and textures.
Being a much sought after sideman often means repressing some of your own musical impulses, ideas and instincts. For a highly creative person, it is imperative to have a balance, and to create and walk your own path as well! Through that desire to step-out and put himself in a place where the decision-making brought his focus towards what is aesthetically in-line with his creative vision, we have this wonderful debut from Schnelle, which is sure to be the first in a series of engaging recordings to come. “This album is my first real step into owning everything I’m doing. I never wanted my first record to be standards, covers or expected material from a ‘jazz drummer’; I was committed to it representing me musically, and not at all based on what I, or someone else, think the audience wants to hear, or in some way is just ‘checking boxes.’ Hopefully, this record stands as a piece of art, not as a business card to show what I’m capable of,” says Schnelle.
A guiding quote for Schnelle throughout the process comes from author Anne Morris, “The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around like rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life”.
You can hear, “the irony of commitment,” translated into Morse Code, layered throughout the track, “New Changes,” on Shine Thru.
Shine Thru, is an affirmation. A message that it’s okay to commit to what you see, hear and feel, and to step into the light and be YOU, come hell or high-water. “I can’t know that I’ll always be shining, but if I’m holding back, I definitely won’t be shining thru…,” says Schnelle.
DAN SCHNELLE – SHINE THRU
Dan Schnelle is one of the most talented, in-demand drummers in the Los Angeles area. Known for an intuitive ability to bring precisely what is necessary for each performance, Schnelle understands how to make other musicians comfortable, while bringing enough of the unexpected to his playing to keep it consistently exciting. Unsatisfied with the idea that the drum set is merely a time-keeping device, Schnelle is thoughtful about how this unique instrument, with its nearly limitless variety of sounds, can be tastefully and effectively deployed in a wide variety of musical situations. Years spent collaborating with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles (and beyond) have earned him a reputation as a hard-working, professional, and creative team player; one who is, above all, committed to musical excellence.
Schnelle began learning to play the drums in his hometown of Merrick, New York, at the age of ten. He progressed quickly, and by high school, was studying with two important and widely respected teachers, Al Miller and Dom Famularo. Together these men opened Schnelle’s ears to the music of Buddy Rich, Max Roach, and Steve Gadd. Later, he would attend USC’s Thornton School of Music, where he was exposed to a much broader perspective on jazz (and music as a whole), thanks in part to close interaction with such masters as Terri Lyne Carrington, Peter Erskine, Ndugu Chancler, Aaron Serfaty, John Clayton, Alan Pasqua, and many others. In his final 2 years at USC, Schnelle was named the Louis Bellson Scholar, an honor bestowed on one drummer each year. And after earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies, Schnelle was selected to attend the Henry Mancini Institute, where he performed and studied with Vince Mendoza, Billy Childs, and Dave Leibman.
Even as a student in Los Angeles, Schnelle was already working regularly around Los Angeles. He has since toured throughout the US, Europe, China, and Japan performing at major festivals, and concert halls with numerous artists. Notable collaborators in the studio and on tour have included Billy Childs, John Daversa, David Benoit, Jeff Parker, Karrin Allyson, David Binney, Josh Nelson, Laurence Hobgood, Larry Goldings, Alan Ferber, Joshua White, Sara Gazarek, Tim Lefebvre, Phillip Dizack, Jeff Babko, Dayna Stephens, Tigran Hamasyan, Walter Smith III, Anthony Wilson, Ben Wendel, James Torme, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Dick Oats, and many others.
Schnelle is also refining his voice as a composer with his first record, Shine Thru, coming out on Outside In Music May 13, 2022! It features an amazing team of fellow artists, and longtime collaborators and friends: Josh Nelson (piano), Jeff Babko (piano, keyboards), Anthony Wilson (guitar), David Binney (alto saxophone), and Alex Boneham (bass). The results go beyond any reckoning one may have previously had about this artist!
Nowadays Schnelle maintains a busy performance schedule while simultaneously working as a dedicated music educator; he understands that effective pedagogy is a way of not only giving back to the art form but also continuing to challenge and expand his own playing and thought process. In addition to keeping a full roster of students in his private studio, Schnelle has also given countless masterclasses in colleges and conservatories across the US including USC, California Institute of the Arts, KU, CSUN, The Jazz School, and many others.