Dan grew up in Detroit during Motown’s heyday, played keyboards in bands with friends, and snuck off to see live music at the Grande Ballroom whenever he could. He was thrown out of Baker’s Keyboard Lounge on several occasions for being underage in the famous jazz bar, but managed to hear several of his Blue Note idols from the 1960s.
While new to KCBX, he’s not new to public radio having worked at WKAR AM/FM in East Lansing, Michigan from 1970 to 1979 as a producer/announcer and operations manager. He left radio to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, then returned to studies at Michigan State University to earn an MBA and a PhD. While in grad school he continued to play keyboards in bands and was co-owner of a record label that distributed music of local artists to record stores throughout Michigan.
An academic career brought him to San Francisco State University where he taught in the Department of Marketing until retiring in 2006. On retiring, he decided to learn to play guitar (a lifelong ambition), trading in all his keyboard gear for guitars. He studied for three years with noted guitarist Gary Yamane in Taos, New Mexico before moving to San Luis Obispo in 2015. He considers himself a “marginally competent” jazz player.
Dan has eclectic interests in music. He produced and engineered a folk music duo’s album, a couple of CDs for a prolific singer/songwriter, and co-produced an EP for an electronic dance trio back in the 1980s. His music listening these days is mostly jazz, with a special love for guitar and vocal music.
He lives in SLO with his husband Joe, their two big goofy dogs Arlo and Alice, and two grandpa cat brothers Boomer and Mickey.