DAN ENGELHARDT...FROM THE HARDT
I’m a Brooklyn boy who came to this planet knowing how to play the piano.
We had two pianos in our home.
One upstairs that I would sit at and tap the keys—the feel of them was comfortable and reassuring.
The other was in the downstairs living room where my older cousin took piano lessons.
One afternoon—I was about eight years old at the time—I was listening to my cousin’s lesson when what the teacher was saying suddenly made sense of the black and white keys.
I rushed upstairs and began to play what my cousin was struggling with.
When I turned around, the teacher standing there. He smiled but had a slightly puzzled look.
“Did you learn that by just standing in the back of the room downstairs?”
“Yes,” I answered.
Later that day, my parents asked if I wanted lessons.
My teacher was to be Rose, a world class classical pianist married to the then concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.
My lessons were in their apartment a few blocks from Prospect Park, close to the famed Ebbets Field.
Rose invited my parents to a lesson, exclaiming how talented I was.
And that was the start of my extended musical training.
I loved classical music and memorized Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Hayden, Mendelsohn, Chopin.
I loved practicing scales and arpeggios.
Throughout my teens I expanded my listening and love for music. Ray Charles and Dave Brubeck exploded my horizons.
They were fabulous and completely intimidating. I thought: "You mean they weren’t just playing music they had memorized—they were making it up on the spot? How was that possible?"
I studied music and piano through high school and minored in music in college. After receiving a BA degree, I went to music school on a full-tuition scholarship.
From there, I spent years touring up and down the East Coast playing with show bands. Rock ‘n roll bands, wedding bands, original music bands. I played the bass guitar as much as the keyboards.
I earned a New York State Special Ed teaching license and was employed at a residential treatment facility working with learning disabled, emotionally disturbed children from kindergarten through high school.
At first, I ran the greenhouse program and earned a horticultural therapist designation.
But I also played the piano for the school chorus and helped out with all the class productions. So when the music teacher left, I went to the principal and offered my services. I had taken the horticulture program about as far as I could and I wanted the opportunity to teach music.
Five wonderful years followed. I ordered five electronic keyboards and set up a keyboard lab. I taught the students how to read music and play the piano. We went over contemporary American music so they could better understand where the music they listened to came from.
Seemingly out of nowhere, I had started to compose my own tunes.
The music flowed out in a hot torrent.
Many of the early songs I forgot.
I didn’t take them seriously because they had come to me so effortlessly– I felt like a vessel through which they expressed themselves in some way unconnected to me.
But as I played my songs for other people, I saw the awe and positive reactions.
People were moved by my music. It spoke to them. Because it was music from the heart. Or should I say, Hardt.
I hope my music speaks to you, too.
Thanks for visiting.
DAN ENGELHARDT WRITE TO DAN HERE
From the HARDT...
Some of the wonderful musicians I am privileged to work with.
John Lissauer - Arranger, Recording Engineer
John was just inducted into the Grammys Hall of Fame for producing, arranging and conducting Leonard Cohen's iconic first recording of "Hallelujah." Over 500 versions have been recorded so far. In December 2016, three different versions were in Billboard's Top 20 Singles. Number 5 was John & Leonard's original recording.
John Lissauer's first big gig came at the age of 19, when he produced and arranged Al Jarreau's first recordings. Ever in good company, John went on to produce and arrange a pair of hugely successful Leonard Cohen albums and has been composing, producing and arranging ever since.
The last 25 years have been prolific for John, creating award-winning work that has spanned the globe. He has scored twenty-five feature films, and has arranged and orchestrated even more films including Seven and That Thing You Do. His score for La Tete de Normande St. Onge (co-written with Lewis Furey) won a Canadian Academy Award for "Best Original Score in a Motion Picture." John just completed a new Romantic Comedy, Thre3bound which followed the Harvey Keitel film, The Last Godfather and the Eric Roberts family drama, So This is Christmas. John is currently putting the finishing touches on a gothic thriller before starting an epic space drama and a documentary about the trial of Huey Newton. John is particularly proud to have been chosen by The Shanghai Film Group (SFG) to compose and orchestrate the huge and evocative logo Theme Music which will begin every film they are involved in. It will open the ceremonies for the 70th Anniversary of The Chinese Peopleâ€™s Republic.
A partial list of the musicians John has worked with includes:
Leonard Cohen Bette Midler Mary Fahl Loudon Wainwright III Al Jarreau Tony Bird Tony Bennett Melissa Manchester
The Manhattan Transfer Whitney Houston Luther Vandross Valerie Simpson David Sanborn Michael Bolton Clara Ponty The Roches
Al Orlo - Guitar
Al toured and recorded with the legendary singer Ben E. King for 25 years and was his Musical Director from 1996 until his passing on April 30, 2015.
Al currently performs with Soul Blues artist Vaneese Thomas. He has played shows in the US and Europe to support her 2016 CD “The Long Journey Home”. He is currently writing and recording new music for her 2019 release.
Al held the Guitar 1 chair at Kinky Boots on Broadway from February of 2018 until it’s closing in April 2019. He has also performed at many other Broadway Shows including, Beautiful the Carole King Musical, Something Rotten, Hairspray, Aida, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Catch Me If You Can, Motown The Musical, Footloose, Saturday Night Fever, Rocky Horror Show, and Little Shop of Horrors.
Al also wrote and co-produced songs for The SOS All Stars, which made airplay charts for contemporary jazz in 1988 - 2000 and featured many notable musicians; including Dave Weckl, Chris Botti, Bob Baldwin, Bob Franceschini, Fred Vigdor, Richard Tee, Michel Camilo, Will Lee, and Anthony Jackson.
914 629 5562 firstname.lastname@example.org www.alorlo.com
Tony Kadleck - Trumpet
For years, Tony Kadleck's trumpet has been a driving force behind many legendary performers. His uncompromising musicality has brought him to the stage with many luminaries, including Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and Stevie Wonder. In the studio, his horn has enhanced recordings by Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross and countless others.
914 588 3350 email@example.com www.tonykadleck.com
Will Galison - Harmonica ("Shiloh")
You may not know you know Will Galison’s music, but you do. You’ve heard his unique harmonica sound on the themes of “Sesame Street”, “The Untouchables”, “Bagdad Café” and hundreds of other movie scores, albums and commercials. Harmonica master, Toots Thielemans, called Will “The most original and individual of the new generation of harmonica players”. While Will is indeed one of the top exponents of the jazz harmonica, his career as a studio musician has allowed him to explore and embrace many other musical idioms, from rhythm and blues to classical concertos. That’s why he has recorded and/or performed with stars as varied as Sting, Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Tommy Emmanuel, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Ruth Brown, Jaco Pastorius, the O’Jays and Peggy Lee.
917 517 7344 firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.willgalison.net