New York-based drummer and percussionist Dan Weiss' sound is instantly recognizable due to its balance of modern jazz and East Indian rhythms. Weiss grew up with a guitar-playing father and was exposed to music early on. He began playing in his teens when he first heard recordings by Led Zeppelin — he counts John Bonham as his very first influence, and Led Zeppelin IV as the record that convinced him to become a drummer. Soon after, he became a Rush fan and a metalhead. His first 14 years of playing were dominated by rock & roll. It was his drum teacher, Jeff Krause, who introduced him to jazz via records by Max Roach & Clifford Brown, and Count Basie. Weiss changed course almost immediately.
Weiss is also an instructor. He provides private instruction for tabla and drum kit, and is a faculty member at both the New School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. His first recorded collaboration with his new band — Feliciati, Joel Harrison, Powell, and Cuong Vu — is titled Holy Abyss. It was released in late January of 2012 by Cuneiform Records.
Two years later, the drummer began his partnership with Pi Recordings and issued the ambitious seven-part suite, Fourteen, with his large ensemble. Sixteen: A Drummer's Suite followed in 2016, along with Weiss' collaboration with Florian Weber and Donny McCaslin on Criss Cross: Exploring the Music of Monk and Bill Evans for Enja. In 2018, Weiss realized his longstanding dream of assembling some of the most accomplished players on the jazz scene to play music that combines jazz with heavy metal and electronic new music. To that end, he recruited Craig Taborn on acoustic and electric piano, Matt Mitchell on piano and Prophet 6, modular synthesizers, guitarist Ben Monder, and electric bassist Trevor Dunn. Entitled Starebaby, it was issued by Pi Recordings in April, followed by a European tour. ~ Thom Jurek