After growing up surrounded by a wonderful variety of musical inspirations including The Grand Ole Opry, Keith Jarrett, Tower of Power and Devo, the metaphysical beauty of American finger-style guitar drew Dan Schwartz to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here, studying with the eminent educator of this style, John Stropes, Dan was one of only six students to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Performance in American Finger-Style Guitar from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (the only university in the world that has offered such a degree).
In the fall of 1992 he joined the faculty of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. In 1994 he won first place in the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music American Finger-Style Guitar scholarship competition. In 1997 he released his debut CD The Art of Making Fire, which earned him a nomination for “Guitarist of the Year” by the Minnesota Music Academy. Dan is one of the featured artists which include Leo Kottke, Eric Johnson and Billy McLaughlin on the Narada Productions compilations Masters of Acoustic Guitar (1997) and Guitar-Fingerstyle II (2001). In 2000, after winning first place in the Minneapolis finals, Dan was awarded runner-up in the Midwest regional finals of the Guitar Center/VH-1 “Guitarmageddon” national guitar competition.
As a part of the Milwaukee Foundation for Guitar Studies, and Stropes Editions, Ltd., Dan is at the forefront of developments in the transcription, notation and editing of finger-style guitar music. This work has been published in Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, Fingerstyle Guitar and the Italian guitar magazine Chitarre. Stropes Editions, Ltd. has recently released the most awaited guitar publication in 20 years: Michael Hedges/Rhythm, Sonority, Silence.
During 1998, Dan toured as the guitarist for Flyte Tyme/Universal Records artist Angel Grant. This new departure for Dan placed him in an all-star R&B band with Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Michael Bland (Prince’s NPG), “Big Jim” Wright and Libby Turner (Sounds of Blackness) performing shows with such artist as N-Sync, The Roots, LL Cool J and Meredith Brooks. Dan also played acoustic and electric guitars on the Boyz II Men single, “I Will Get There”, produced by Jam and Lewis, from the Prince of Egypt -Inspirational soundtrack.
Dan has been featured as a "cameo critic" in the Minneapolis Star/Tribune discussing essential finger-style guitar recordings.
With Distribution spreading over 10 countries, Dan's music is receiving a growing amount of International interest. He has received frequent airplay on Italian and Korean radio. He was featured in the April 2002 issue of the Italian magazine New Age Music and New Sounds. His composition Sad Little Girl has been used throughout Japan as a television theme song.
Dan lives with his family in Bloomington Minesota
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