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Dan Bilawsky

Jazz Journalist, Jazz Advocate, Music Educator, Lover of Sounds.

About Me

My interest in jazz really began as an outgrowth of my general enthusiasm for music. As a band director, working with concert bands, marching bands, and jazz bands, I'm around music all the time. It's wonderful that my vocation and avocation cross paths in so many ways.

When I was younger, my mother introduced me to recordings from jazz greats like Dave Brubeck, Buddy Rich, Oliver Nelson, and Max Roach. But I failed to really develop an interest in the music and history at that time. As I matured, I became very involved in my school band program and started to study percussion seriously. I even joined my high school jazz band on drums...yet I still didn't really develop much passion for the sound and subject. While I was always a music collector and avid listener, most of what I heard and encountered was rock-based or classically oriented.

When I eventually went away to study Music Education at Indiana University, I discovered lots of mind-blowing music, often through a “six degrees of separation” scenario, and I began to really appreciate jazz. This initial spark, combined with a passion for music history, kept leading me to new discoveries which would, in turn, lead me somewhere else. Many years, hundreds of live shows, thousands of CD's, and a few college degrees later, I'm still listening, learning, and following the constantly evolving art form that we call jazz.

In terms of writing about jazz, that's been a primary pursuit of mine since 2005. Over the past fourteen years I've reviewed more than 1500 albums, seen countless live shows, interviewed numerous musicians of both the well-known and under-the-radar varieties, penned educational features, dipped my toe into product reviews, and covered literature appropriate to the art form and my understanding of it. My work has been featured in or at a wide variety of outlets, including Jazz Improv/Jazz Inside Magazine, Music & Literature, The New York City Jazz Record, TIDAL Music, JAZZed, JazzTimes, and, of course, at All About Jazz. In addition, I've had the pleasure of writing press releases, liner notes and other on-assignment freelance works for a broad array of jazz artists. A partial list of recent works in those areas includes the following:

Press Releases for: Konrad Adderley, live Monk Tango project; Jim Snidero, Main Street (Savant, 2015); trio / DEF, trio / DEF (Drouin/Eagles/Froman) (TetraArtist, 2015); Yelena Eckemoff, Everblue (L & H, 2015); The Becoming Quintet, One-Track Mind (Posi-Tone, 2019); Out To Dinner, Different Flavors (Posi-Tone, 2019); Works For Me, Reach Within (Posi-Tone, 2019); New Faces, New Sounds (Posi-Tone, 2020).

Liner Notes for: Dida Pelled, A Missing Shade Of Blue (Red, 2016); Jim Snidero, MD66 (Savant, 2016); Danny Grissett, Rememberance (Savant, 2017); Russell Malone, Time For The Dancers (HighNote, 2017); Steve Nelson, Brothers Under The Sun (HighNote, 2017); Katie Thiroux, Off Beat (Capri, 2017); Daniel Toledo Trio, Atrium (Fortune, 2017); Jim Snidero/Jeremy Pelt, Jubilation! Celebrating Cannonball Adderley (Savant, 2018); David Kikoski, Phoenix Rising (HighNote, 2019); Adam Larson, Listen With Your Eyes (Ropeadope, 2019); Jerry Bergonzi, Nearly Blue (Savant, 2020), Monika Herzig, Eternal Dance (Savant, 2020); Richard Baratta, Music in Film: The Reel Deal (Savant, 2020); Jeremy Pelt, Griot: This is Important! (HighNote, 2021); Jim Snidero, Live at the Deer Head Inn (Savant, 2021); Jennifer Wharton's Bonegasm, Not a Novelty (Sunnyside, 2021).

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