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Meet Dan Rosenboom

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan Rosenboom.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’m a trumpet player, composer, producer, band-leader, record label owner (Orenda Records), and Los Angeles studio musician. I’m dedicated to making music that is simultaneously challenging and beautiful, thought-provoking yet fun, and shaking up the status quo. Over the last 15 years, I’ve produced 27 albums both under my own name and with a variety of bands, and I’m always doing something new.

At the beginning of 2014, I launched Orenda Records to provide a platform for like-minded artists from Los Angeles and beyond to release adventurous music that often blurs genre lines and always provides something fresh and interesting. To date, we have released 69 projects, though that may well increase by the time this is published.

I grew up the child of two avant-garde artists: my father is a pioneering composer, and my mother was a designer, performance, and visual artist. I’ve been surrounded by the avant-garde my whole life, which has given me an especially different perspective on and relationship to music. And while all my interests aren’t avant-garde, the common thread is a love of exploration.

I trained through college to be a classical trumpet player, though, by the time I finished my undergraduate degree at the Eastman School of Music, I was hungry for more. Through graduate programs at UCLA and California Institute of the Arts, as well as through colleagues I met there and in Los Angeles, I began to explore improvisational music, which through a winding, unusual road has landed me at an interesting nexus in the Los Angeles jazz and creative music scene.

I also work regularly as a Los Angeles studio musician and freelance trumpet player, performing on such film soundtracks as the recent Star Wars trilogy and TV shows like The Orville, as well as substituting in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, and many other elite classical and contemporary performing ensembles in Los Angeles. I’ve toured the world twice as Josh Groban’s trumpet soloist, and have performed with my own bands at such international jazz festivals as Jazz Em Agosto (Lisbon), Jazzfestival Saalfelden (Austria), the Angel City Jazz Festival, and the Monterey Jazz Festival.

I suppose my story is that of someone with a myriad of musical interests, and I have been fortunate to be able to pursue many of them at a high level. And the chance to empower my colleagues through Orenda Records by supporting their artistic visions is an invaluable honor. Through all these avenues, I’ve been inspired to create something original and to challenge others to do the same, and I think the future looks more exciting every day!

Please tell us about your art.
If a painter has a canvas, I have “the album” as my chosen format. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been all about the multi-faceted listening experience of hearing a complete artistic statement through multiple songs, compositions, or even just one continuous work. So, when I started making my own music, the goal was to create albums with a beautiful and memorable musical arc. And now through Orenda Records, I get to support other artists doing the same.

To me, an album is like a story, novella, movie, etc. – it takes you somewhere in your imagination grander than a single song. I deal mostly in instrumental music, so the imagination is even freer to wander and conjure images, emotions, contemplations, etc..

As I mentioned previously, I’m a provoker, so often my music is intended to challenge the listener to think bigger, broader, weirder, or more deeply. My music is often inspired by mysticism or mythology, but also by social conditions and philosophy. Sometimes I try to segment these things — my band Burning Ghosts is overtly socio-political, while my “Book” projects, “Book of Omens” and “Book of Storms” are full-on mysticism. Lately, the music I’m performing and recording are dealing with the absurdity that I see everywhere in modern life, but especially with the current political climate, and the ways our society is being fragmented by a variety of forces. I’ve got a new album due out early next year called “Absurd in the Anthropocene” that features a lot of those themes and an incredible lineup of musicians. (Definitely, stay tuned for that!)

The crux of my musical pursuit is aimed at the intersection of the intellectual and the spiritual. This is something that’s very hard to describe in words — perhaps that’s why I prefer instrumental music. But in the deepest moments of musical expression, a player can expand into a state of consciousness where their whole being, mind, and body, are in sync with everything around them. It’s not a trance. The mind is firing on all cylinders, and the spirit is radiating outward. It’s a state where intelligence and spirituality coexist in exquisite harmony. It’s what we call “the flow.”

Music that achieves that state is the most inspiring to me. And it can exist in any kind of music. It’s what I strive for in my own music, and it’s what I hope people feel when they listen.

Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
I’m not sure I have any real answers about how to deal with the financial challenges of being a creative or an artist. The biggest thing that has helped me is to be open to a wide variety of opportunities, hone your craft to be impeccable, and be fiercely entrepreneurial. I’ve been very fortunate in my career to make a living through a combination of creative work, freelance work, and teaching. But every creative need to think broadly about their avenues for income. Whatever it takes, though, make the work. You have no idea where that can lead down the road.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I perform at many venues in Los Angeles, but most frequently at Bluewhale downtown and Sam First on the west side.

The best way to find out about performances, album releases, and other work/events is to follow me (and Orenda Records) on Instagram, Facebook, or go to my website and sign up for the mailing list.

The best way to support my work and the artists on Orenda Records is to purchase our music through Bandcamp (or other retailers), come to shows, and tell your friends. Word of mouth is the most powerful tool for spreading creative art, so if you like what you find, please share it with your people!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Aubre Hill, Eron Rauch

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