Dan Whieldon is a Jazz pianist originally from Burton-on-Trent.
He started as a child playing by ear, working out songs and hymns on the piano. (He always loved chords from a young age).
He played piano and clarinet and got more and more involved in music at his local school ‘de Ferrers’, playing in several bands and projects there.
Dan decided to study music, so he went to Birmingham Conservatoire, where he studied classical piano and discovered some of his favourite composers such as Rachmaninov, Debussy, Chopin, Brahms etc. all of which featured in his final recital.
Whilst at the conservatoire, he discovered Jazz. One of the first CDs he heard was Michel Petrucciani with Eddy Louis and he was blown away by this new language. As his Jazz collection began to grow, he started to play more regularly.
Studying in Brussels followed and this was a turning point for Dan as he became hooked on the ‘European’ Jazz sound. Diederik Wissels and Nathalie Loriers – his two teachers there –were a big influence on him.
After gaining his Masters in Brussels, Dan then moved to Manchester.
He now enjoys playing with several national and international players on their visits to the North West, which have included amongst others: Steve Waterman, Alan Barnes, Tina May,Art Themen, Mark Nightingale and Dan Shout. He is a regular at most Jazz festivals in the North West and enjoys playing abroad whenever possible (Taiwan, Belgium, Spain amongst others).
A highlight of Dan’s career was in 2008 when he won the Nottingham National Jazz Piano Competition. His prize was a brand new Blüthner piano and a tour of concerts including the Vortex and 606 clubs in London.
Since graduating, Dan still likes to take lessons whenever possible and has studied with several pianists such as Andy Laverne, David Hazeltine, Enrico Pieranunzi and Rob van Bavel.
Some of Dan’s favourite players (apart from the obvious Jazz greats including Bill Evans) are: Enrico Pieranunzi, Nathalie Loriers, Rob van Bavel, Diederik Wissels, Nikki Iles, Ivan Paduart, Michel Herr, Baptiste Trotignon, Gareth Williams, Bert Joris, Hein van de Geyn, Mario Laginha, Pierre de Bethman, Karel Boehlee, Eric Legnini…
As well as teaching Jazz and Classical piano at the King’s School in Macclesfield, Dan is the Jazz piano teacher at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he also teaches improvisation classes.
Dan’s CD Positive Changes is available on ASC records and his duo CD Lela with the great singer Alice Zawadzki on Odradek records.