Today we’d like to introduce you to Danny Andress.
Danny, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was pretty drawn to music from my family. My dad is a songwriter and drummer. My grandmother is a pianist. We always had a piano around, and I was drawn to it. I was attracted to harmony. Mostly, I just wanted to learn more about how music worked. At that time, I listened to very different things: Daft Punk, Debussy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rachmaninoff, Pat Metheny, Rush, Stars. My dad bought a chord encyclopedia, and I started memorizing chords. After that, I just kept trying to learn more about music. Joined the high school jazz band for three years. Went to college and studied music. Got a scholarship for grad school studying music. Started teaching along the way.
I should elaborate and explain that I moved across the country a few times as a child. Changed schools every year until I was in high school. That’s when I moved to California. I’ve been here in SoCal for the past 20 years. And in time, music has been a huge part of my life.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Can anyone say that it was a smooth road? To be good at music takes a lot of practice and study, with no promise of good remuneration. Artists will warn you, ‘There’s no money in this,’ and so that anxiety can weigh heavily on you depending on the kind of person you are. But it’s ok. You are allowed to study things that matter to you. If music gives your life meaning, why would you sacrifice meaning?
Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I teach what I know, and I continue to study. I still take lessons from better pianists than myself. It helps me stay the path. So my students have a chance to study with me and learn piano technique, music theory, harmony, classical, jazz, pop, even songwriting, producing, and Ableton Live. These are just my interests that I’ve pursued long enough to be blessed by having others want me to show them the way.
I don’t know its easy to say what sets me apart, other than as different individuals, we couldn’t be more apart. My lived experience has informed of certain things, provided me a unique perspective, my own tastes and preferences musically. My abilities are somewhat unique as well, in terms of being competent with jazz, classical, composition, electronic music, playing by ear, understanding figured bass, and incorporating circuit bending into my music when I was in grad school.
What were you like growing up?
I liked games, the outdoors, books, chess, and music. Not much has changed. My musically side was always my most extroverted side — I very much enjoy the act of performing with others. You immediately get a sense of what kind of musicians other players are. It’s a very special art form in that regard.
- $60 / hour
- Website: dannyandress.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @_dannyandress