Jazz man comes in from the cold
Former Levin music teacher Dan Bolton has made a meal of the Big Apple
Many happy returns are in store for Aussie-born jazz muso, Dan Bolton. The New York-based Cairns native used to teach music at Levin’s Horowhenua and Waiopehu Colleges during a two-year stint in Levin when he was 23.
That was a couple of decades or so ago. The musician and recording artist, who used to gig with Palmerston North musicians Bullfrog Rata and Erna Ferry, is including the city and Kapiti Coast on his current Australia and New Zealand tour.
After leaving New Zealand, the jazzbo cut his performance teeth playing aboard cruise ships and in hotels in Asia and the Middle East.
Last here a decade or so ago, and despite now making a name for himself in the Big Apple with his recently released third album, Dan still keeps this region in his heart.
‘‘I’m looking forward to coming back and it is also a good way to escape the ridiculously cold New York winter. I still have friends [here] that I haven’t seen in years.’’
The singer/songwriter/ pianist has developed a unique sound with his original songs that incorporate elements of jazz, pop and Latin American styles, and have been described as 21st century standards.
These musical influences and innovation are also apparent in his unique arrangements of songs from the Great American Songbook.
Dan moved to New York in 2012 where he works as a musical director for Broadway and cabaret star, Nathan Lee Graham, and with Laura Hart, who is the vocalist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. His time there has seen him contribute to the score and orchestrations for Visionary Man, a stage celebration of illiterate enigmatic eccentric JB Murray, who at age 70 found himself called to create vivid abstract artistic masterpieces inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The musical premiered in Los Angeles in 2014.
‘‘I have found my place in New York. I like the energy there a lot. Music is happening everywhere there seven nights a week. It is tough because there are a lot of great musicians there. But I have found that being around those sorts of people elevates what you do.’’
Releasing his first two albums in 2013 and 2014, The New York Sessions Volumes 1 and 2, this tour, which also takes in the Auckland Jazz And Blues Club, and Kapiti Coast where he also taught in the 1990s, serves as the downunder launch of the three-volume set.
Dan describes his music as ‘‘jazz with a popular edge to it’’, comparing it to the likes of Harry Connick Jr, Jamie Cullum and Georgie Fame.
‘‘My shows also always have quite a bit of dialogue. I
‘‘ I have found my place in New York. Music is happening everywhere there seven nights a week. It is tough because there are a lot of great musicians there. But I have found that being around those sorts of people elevates what you do.’’
like to get the audience engaged with me and my music.’’
His backing quartet includes New York City-based Kiwi drummer, Mark Lockett with bassist Johnny Lawrence and Richard Thai on saxophone.
Dan Bolton performs in Globe 2 on Saturday January 23 at 8pm with bookings at the Globe box office and online globetheatre.co.nz
New York based jazz musician Dan Bolton is trading the US winter for a New Zealand album release tour, and plays the Globe Theatre next week.