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danny & the hep cats


Danny was born and raised in Chicago. The popular music of the early 1960s was folk music, Danny’s passion. In 1962 Danny began guitar lessons at the famous Old Town School of Folk Music and continued for three years. During this time, he took lessons from, and became a close personal friend of Jo Mapes who was the female star vocalist of the TV program, Hootenanny. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In 1967 Danny moved to the Height-Ashbury in San Francisco, right at the peak of the famous “summer of love”. It was “sex, drugs and folk music” an odyssey which he remembers fondly - it brings a big smile to his face. He renewed his friendship with Janis Joplin whom he had met in Chicago just after the formation of the band "Big Brother And The Holding Company", attended the free concerts in Golden Gate Park and the various music venues in and around the San Francisco Bay area. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In 1973 Danny was fortunate to move to Juiz de Fora, Brazil for 5 years, working as a full time consultant for the World Health Foundation and The Ford Foundation. Luck would have it that the 5 year period when Danny lived in Brazil happened to be the peak of the most prolific singer/ songwriters of popular Brazilian music (MPB) in Brazilian history. Danny was swept up and away by the incredibly deep personal feelings expressed in the lyrics, the powerful haunting melodies and high energy of the rhythms. Brazilian music was at the peak of it’s influence worldwide – from Bossa Nova, to the new emerging generation of singers and songwriters like Chico Buarque de Hollanda, Ivan Lins and Milton Nascimento, Tom Jobim, Simone, Gal Costa, Elis Regina, MPB4, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Clara Nunes, Marisa Montes, Toquinho, Toninho Horta, Dick Farney, Paulinho Mosca, Secos & Molhados, Maria Creuza, Maria Bethania, Edu Lobo, Nelson Goncalves, Roberto & Erasmo Carlos, Carlos Lyra, Jorge Bem, Tim Maia, Jair Rodriguez, Martinho da Vila, Joao Bosco, Rita Lee, Sergio Mendes, Joao & Atrud Gilberto, Djavan, and Venicius de Morais (among others.) With the help of his friends in Juiz de Fora, Sonia de Almeida, Dr. Jose Paixao de Souza, Dr. Itagyba Martins Chaves and other friends, he learned the profound meanings of the lyrics, the incredible history of Brazilian music from it's African/ Portugues roots beginning 400 years ago - and the incredibly rich history of folklore, magic, rituals, and traditions. WHEW! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fast forward to March 12, 2005 in North Miami, Florida – it was the first time Danny performed in public at the Luna Star Cafe - one of the 4 venues for folk and acoustic music in South Florida. It was a night that would change his life forever. While he had not played guitar nor had sung for more than 25 years, it was his 40 year friendship with Jo Mapes in Chicago who mentored him long distance and "prep" him for his debut. He had to re-learn how to play barre chords, to Travis pick, to build calluses on his fingers, and finally muster up the courage to overcome the absolute terror of performing he had his whole life. Good thing he did, because the reviews were so much more positive than he could have ever imagined. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Danny has put together the Band, Danny & The Hep Cats to showcase the Brazilian, Jazz, Swing, Folk, Blues and Country songs he loves. The "folkies" have never heard folk music with this much energy before! The band members are top notch players who collectively have more than eighty years experience as performers - they are hot - every single one of them! Ideally Danny would like to perform 6 months a year in Brazil and 6 months a year in the US and Europe. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And so the journey begins. . .

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