In addition to being the Marketing & Communications Manager here at the Arts Council, Dan serves on the Make Music Hartford Planning Committee. As a musician, he was eager to step up and take on planning work to help make MMH even bigger and better. However, you won’t be seeing him onstage come June 21 – he’ll be busy documenting as much action as possible through our social media accounts. Be sure to follow us throughout the day!
What is your instrument(s)? If not a singer/musician, what is your connection to the arts?
I grew up in a musical family – my sister, parents, and a number of relatives are musically inclined, or passionate about arts and culture in other ways. I have been singing, acting, and playing the drums (all to different extents) since I was about 8 years old. My primary instruments are voice and drums, but I can play (easy) songs on guitar/piano by ear.
What do you do other than the arts – professionally? Hobbies?
I don’t do much besides the arts – as a communications professional, my job is to help tell the story of Hartford’s creative sector. Outside of work, I am a proud member of the Young Professional Advisory Board at Playhouse on Park, and play drums in a couple of local bands: Lil Sluggers and Portrait Party. After a long hiatus from theatre, I returned to the stage in Connecticut Theatre Company’s production of “Moon Over Buffalo” in March.
What drew you to MMH?
My first experience with MMH was last year, when Amanda asked if Lil Sluggers was free to play on the Riverfront. The trio version of our 5-piece band quickly learned another hour’s worth of music and trekked down to the water. It was a beautiful day, and we were happy to drop in for some tunes! This year, I was asked to serve on the Planning Committee, and I could not be more grateful or excited to do this work. I can’t wait for the city to come out and play!
What drew you to Hartford and what is making you stay?
My one wish for moving back home after college was to become involved in the local arts scene. My wish came true early – a month before graduating with my master’s degree, I got into The Hartford Wailers (the professional a cappella group later re-branded as CONNECT) and started playing drums in the indie folk band Orders with a co-worker at the time. However, I will forever owe my real connection with Hartford arts to Anne Cubberly and LB Munoz of Night Fall. I served as their Volunteer Coordinator in 2015 and started to meet countless other artists and creatives. That is exactly what is making me stay – the boundless creative energy of the city.
What is your favorite genre(s) of music?
My taste in music is all over the place at the moment, but I generally tend to love rock, folk, jazz, hip-hop, and metal.
Top 3 favorite things about Hartford
- Sense of community – you’re not just a number in a big city
- Food + culture – the region’s growing food truck/restaurant culture (combined with local staples) is enough reason not to feel the need to go to the suburbs for a night out
- Things to do – make the smallest amount of proactive effort and you’ll find there’s no shortage of things to do in Hartford (ex. LetsGoArts.org/ArtsMonth)
I have perfect pitch!
What part of MMH are you most looking forward to:
I am most looking forward to is experiencing so many different genres and the joy of others taking part in free music throughout the city!
Hopes/dreams/wishes for Hartford:
Hartford is long-deserving of a “destination” status. Since the beginning of time, art and artists have been at the forefront of revitalization and renaissance, and it’s Hartford’s turn for the spotlight! We’ve got this.