Dan Whieldon is a Jazz pianist originally from Burton-on-Trent. He started as a child playing by ear, working out songs and hymns on the piano. (He always loved chords from a young age)
He played piano and clarinet and got more and more involved in music at his local school de Ferrers, playing in several bands and projects there.
Dan decided to study music, so he went to Birmingham Conservatoire where he studied classical piano and discovered some of his favourite composers such as Rachmaninov, Debussy, Chopin, Brahms etc. all of which featured in his final recital.
Whilst there, he discovered Jazz and got more and more into that (and maybe spent less time on his Rachmaninov preludes than he should have…) One of the first CDs he heard was Michel Petrucciani with Eddy Louiss and he was blown away by this new language. As his Jazz collection began to grow, he started to play more regularly.
Studying in Brussels followed and this was a turning point for Dan as he became hooked on the ‘European’ Jazz sound. Diederik Wissels and Nathalie Loriers his two teachers there were a big influence on him. Belgian beers were also an important discovery.
After gaining his Masters in Brussels, Dan then moved to Manchester with Rosa, now his wife, as she got a job as clarinettist in the Halle orchestra.
He now enjoys playing with several national and international players on their visits to the North West, which have included amongst others: Steve Waterman, Alan Barnes, Tina May, Jiggs Whigham, Art Themen and Dan Shout. He is a regular at most Jazz festivals in the North West and enjoys playing abroad whenever possible (Taiwan, Belgium, Spain amongst others) Dan’s regular groups include the Mike Hall Quartet, Dan Whiedon/Alice Zawadzki duo, Dan Whieldon trio and the Glossop Gershwin project.
His first 2 cds Live at Zeffirelli’s (trio with Gavin Barras and Jonas Backman) and Over the Moon with Mike Hall received positive reviews from the press and enjoyed some radio play on BBC radio 2 on Humphrey Lyttelton’s show.
A highlight of Dan’s career was in 2008 when he won the Nottingham National Jazz Piano Competition. His prize was a brand new Blüthner piano and a tour of concerts including the Vortex and 606 clubs in London.
Since graduating, Dan still likes to take lessons whenever possible and has studied with several pianists such as Andy Laverne, David Hazeltine, Enrico Pieranunzi and Rob van Bavel.
Some of Dan’s favourite players (apart from the obvious Jazz greats including Bill Evans) are: Enrico Pieranunzi, Nathalie Loriers, Rob van Bavel, Diederik Wissels, Nikki Iles, Ivan Paduart, Baptiste Trotignon, Gareth Williams, Bert Joris, Hein van de Geyn, Mario Laginha, Pierre de Bethman, Karel Boehlee, Eric Legnini…
Dan enjoys teaching Classical and Jazz piano and his work currently includes King’s School in Macclesfield, York University and the RNCM, Manchester.
He lives near Glossop where he enjoys being a bit further away from Manchester, jamming, running and drinking fine ales with fellow Glossop jazzers- Carl Raven and Gavin Barras.
He enjoys speaking Spanish and likes travelling to Vigo and the rest of Spain with his wife.
He still loves chords.
Dan’s CD Positive Changes has just been released on ASC records and his duo CD Lela with the great singer Alice Zawadzki on Odradek records will be released in November.