Originally from the Detroit, MI area, Daniel Willenberg is a jazz and classical pianist, composer, bandleader, producer, and music educator.
Dan received his B.A. in K-12 Instrumental Music Education from Albion College in 2011, where he studied classical piano with Dr. David Abbott. During his junior year, Dan gained an interest in jazz piano and began teaching himself how to improvise. After graduation, Dan was offered an assistantship to pursue his M.A. in Jazz Piano Performance at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI, under the tutelage of Fred Hersch, Dr. Stephen Zegree, Edward Simon, and Jeremy Siskind. Shortly thereafter, Dan was the first pianist to be accepted into WMU’s Performer’s Certificate program.
Before moving to NYC, Dan taught K-8 Choral and Instrumental Music at a charter school in Kalamazoo; private and group piano at The Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival Education Department; private jazz/classical piano, theory, composition, and ensemble coaching at Crescendo Academy of Music; and jazz piano at Albion College as an adjunct faculty member.
He has performed with such jazz musicians as Steve Wilson, Miguel Zenon, Bill Stewart, Randy Brecker, Andrew Rathbun, Tim Hagans, and many more. He also held weekly residencies as both a soloist and bandleader for over 3 years at several premier jazz clubs in Kalamazoo. Additionally, Dan is a triple-prize winner of the Michigan Music Association Piano Competition’s Open Division, a recipient of the Phyllis Rappaport Award for Excellence in Piano Accompaniment, a recipient of the Kalamazoo Arts Council’s Artistic Development Initiative grant, and has been commissioned as a composer for various soloists and ensembles.