Two-time Shifting Foundation Grantee Dan Weiss has been hailed as one of the top five jazz drummers by The New York Times and his large ensemble recording “Fourteen” made their top ten list of the best records of 2014. Weiss’s innovative drumming and forward-thinking compositions have been pushing musical limits for decades.
Weiss’s intense study of jazz, classical Indian, contemporary classical, West African, and metal sets a musical platform that creates a sound that transcends conventional style or genre. His compositional trademarks are angular yet emotive melodies; long rhythmic cycles native to many non-western music, complex through-composed drum parts, and melodic shapes drawing directly from the raga system found in Indian classical music.
Weiss has been studying tabla under Samir Chatterjee for twenty-five years. He’s performed classical Indian music with the legendary Ashish Khan and Ramesh Misra, and recorded the tabla solo cd, “3dcd” (2007). Weiss also recorded two unprecedented cds, “Teental Drumset Solo” (2005) and “Jhaptal Drumset Solo” (2011) where he performs classical Indian repertoire on drum set.
With his trio, which includes Jacob Sacks and Thomas Morgan, he’s released three records (‘Now Yes When’, ‘Timshel’, and ‘Utica Box’) which have been critically acclaimed for their unique approach to song structure and endless creative improvisation. This band has toured Europe, the United States, and Puerto Rico.
Weiss also leads a unique sixteen-piece large ensemble that features some of NYC’s most gifted musicians including Miguel Zenon and Jen Shyu. The two albums “Fourteen” (2014) and “Sixteen: Drummers Suite” (2016) released on the Pi record label have made numerous critic polls.
His latest project ‘Starebaby’ blends metallic jazz, prog and post rock that melds deep sophistication with visceral impact. The band has been featured in The New York Times, toured the US and Europe, and played the prestigious North Sea Jazz Festival. Starebaby’s second record called ‘Natural Selection’ was released in 2020.
As a sideman, Weiss has played/toured with Lee Konitz, Chris Potter, Noah Preminger, Kenny Werner, Rudresh Mahanthappa, David Binney, John Zorn, and many others. Weiss is currently working on a new trio project (new album in 2022) and a duo project with Miles Okazaki (double vinyl release scheduled for late 2021). In addition to his musical projects, Weiss is a highly sought-after teacher. He’s currently working on an instructional course and book.